Thanksgiving is wonderful when you have a warm plate of turkey and stuffing in front of you and loved ones all around; unfortunately, not everyone gets that luxury. College is a great time for you to volunteer and experience new things—why not volunteer for Thanksgiving to make someone else’s holiday a little bit better?
Whether it’s making someone feel less lonely or giving food to the homeless, there are a great variety of schemes available for you to get involved in—it only takes a little bit of effort to make a big difference.
Feeding the homeless
The traditional way to volunteer for Thanksgiving is to help out at a homeless shelter or soup kitchen. There you can help prepare or serve food as well as be there as a friend to the homeless this holiday. These kitchens are usually set up by local churches or charities, so it’s worth asking round about one in your area. These soup kitchens can be a little manic at this time of year, so expect to be shoved into an apron and thrown into the deep end! You’ll meet a wide variety of interesting people, and it might make you want to volunteer even more often.
Spend time with the elderly
There are many elderly people in America who struggle to get out of the house and may be feeling very lonely this Thanksgiving. Take the time to visit your elderly relatives over the break. Additionally, you could volunteer this Thanksgiving and visit an elderly care home and talk to the residents there—just make sure you ring up in advance to see if it will be okay for you to do so. Some places put on special events that you can help take part in, such as Thanksgiving bingo or mini-concerts where visitors sing and dance for the residents!
Spread love to our veterans
If you don’t have time to volunteer for Thanksgiving, there are alternative things you can do to help other people. A popular option is to organize care packages to send to troops overseas. Some people love to get creative with stickers and paint, making gift boxes look like a Thanksgiving explosion. If you don’t fancy that, then any soldier would at least appreciate a hand-written note. Try to focus less on edible items and forget those that won’t travel well. Instead, think about games and nick-nacks they may enjoy.
Care packages for Thanksgiving
You could also make a care package for the homeless—bulk-buy items, put them in ziplock bags and take to the streets to distribute them! You can include toothpaste, toothbrushes, snacks, menstrual products, a travel mug/plastic bottle and some cash. Don’t forget how cold it is at this time of year, especially at night on the street, so try and include some warming gloves, a scarf, a coat or some hand-warmers.