There’s something about the holiday season that always makes us want to give back to our communities. If you’d like to get involved but are not sure where to start, here are five incredible ways to give back this Thanksgiving.
If you are fortunate enough to be able to give, donating to a cause close to your heart is a great way to give back. If money is not an option, consider donating your lifesaving blood or plasma instead.
A trio of wildfires throughout California have forced hundreds of thousands of people out of their homes, and have killed 31 people thus far. As firefighters are struggling to contain the fires as they continue to cause destruction, here’s how you can donate to those who are affected:
- California Community Foundation’s Wildlife Relief Fund: The Wildlife Relief fund supports long-term recovery efforts for California fires. They support those who have lost housing, employment, or suffered physical or mental health problems.
- Salvation Army: Salvation Army is providing meals to displaced Californians in shelters.
- American Red Cross: The Red Cross has set up shelters and food sites across the state, and is providing people with food, water, and other relief supplies.
- Los Angeles Fire Department Foundation: LAFD supports the firefighters who are responding to the wildfires.
- United Way of Greater Los Angeles: United Way’s Disaster Relief Fund helps those impacted by the Hill and Woolsey Fires, and other natural disasters in Los Angeles County and other areas of Southern California.
In October, Hurricane Michael caused widespread damage across Florida’s panhandle and damaged homes, businesses, and hospitals.
- Hurricane Michael Relief Fund: All donations to this fund will support Hurricane Michael recovery and relief efforts.
Thousand Oaks Shooting Victims
On November 7, 12 people lost their lives in a shooting in Thousand Oaks bar in California.
- GoFundMe: This is a verified campaign to help support victims of the incident and their families.
Tree of Life Synagogue Victims
In October, an anti-Semite attacked and killed 11 attendees to a baby’s bris at a Pittsburgh synagogue.
- GoFundMe: This fundraiser is meant to help the congregation with the physical damages to the Tree of Life Synagogue, as well as the survivors and the victims’ families.
Donating your free time to help those in need is a wonderfully selfless act. If you’re dishing out soup or visiting a hospital, the smiles of those you help are to sure confirm return trips.
Become a mentor
If you’re looking for a longer commitment, consider applying to become a mentor. Involvement varies from organization to organization, but if you’re looking for a weekly, monthly, or short-term assignment, there’s sure to be a child waiting for you.
One of the simplest ways to give back doesn’t involve soup kitchens, bake sales, or picking up trash. Simply opening up your home to a friend with no family to go home to for Thanksgiving is a wonderful act of kindness.
If you have physical limitations or can’t manage volunteering in person, consider organizing a virtual food drive through Feeding America. You have a lot of power with just your computer!