How do you give back at Thanksgiving?

Around the Thanksgiving holiday here in the US, I find myself donating to our local food pantry. HO is such a thoughtful community that I thought it might be nice to hear about any ways that people give back at the holiday season (of course can go beyond Thanksgiving if you like). Maybe add why, if you care to share what inspires you.

My why: Circumstances were lean when I was a young one so helping to put food on someone’s table has deep meaning for me.


This is a lovely topic for a thread and one I was recently thinking about. I usually do a donation to the food pantry via my daughter’s school. My CSA farmer is doing a winter stock up option. It is 60+lbs of squashes, root vegetables and hearty greens. I don’t have a good place to store this properly and instead bought a share ($90) for donation to the food bank. I hope it can help a lot of families eat fresh food throughout the winter. I would like to donate my time, but my time is at a premium so I donate financially instead.


I use to go to a “soup kitchen” / church that did Thanksgiving Day meals on wheels. The volunteers would show up at 4am (they started cooking the turkeys around 11pm the night before), help the final prep/cooking then package up hundreds of to go containers which would be delivered to families in the area. I did this for about 10 years, then stopped due to work schedule conflict and never picked it back up, which really reminds me I should. (will have to be next year since I’m in Aruba this Thanksgiving, so if someone here could remind me next year I would appreciate it!! Thanks in advance!!)

My reason, simply to give back. God has been far too generous to me in life there is a lot more I could and should do to show my appreciation.


We don’t have Thanksgiving in the UK nor, in this household, do we make charity donations at any other specific time of year (except if we come across the Salvation Army band playing in the city around Christmas). However, we do make a regular monthly donation to a local homeless charity which works, in particular, with our town’s rough sleepers (and I’m considering doing some volunteering with them next year). Homelessness is a growing issue here - the government is not only not dealing with it but some of its policies are actively increasing the numbers without a roof over their heads.


We support the Red Kettle campaign generously each year. The Kroger Corporation supports Forgotten Harvest and Gleaners with several food stuff drives every year, and we pitch in our contributions. A local Cub Scout Troop dropped off plastic shopping bags at all the homes in our neighborhood for food stuff pickup last Saturday. We got two bags so I shopped at Kroger Friday, to stuff two bags.

One of my biggest regrets is that we never involved our kids in showing charity to others, as they grew up.


My wife started and ran a statewide charity for 15 years. Our son has taken over the last four years. The charity’s volunteers create and donate handmade quilts, knitted gloves and scarves to families in crisis, shelters and through several children’s charities year round. Our son coordinates distribution. Since 1999, 300,000 quilts and countless knitted sets. Over the years, I have donated time as a guitar teacher for children with various challenges as a form of music therapy.

This year, we have signed up for a kitchen duty shift at a senior center to distribute Thanksgiving leftovers (sandwiches to go).

Thanks for giving.


All of you are way, way better at this giving back thing than I am. :slight_smile: That said, even “small” kindnesses can make a bigger difference than we know.

So much inspiration here.