7 Ways to Give Back Thanksgiving Week

Image via PANationalGuard on Flickr

It’s Thanksgiving week, and while I’m consumed with visions of turkey, cranberry sauce (canned, not homemade) and pumpkin pie, I bet you’re less focused on your appetite and more on how you can give back this week. That’s why we love our readers! Looking for ideas? Here are seven. Add your own in the comments below.

1. Adopt a turkey.

For a one-time donation of $30, anyone can sponsor a turkey at Farms Sanctuary. Relax, the turkey doesn’t come to live with you. It stays at one of the Sanctuary’s three shelters. But its yours: you get an Adopt a Turkey certificate to prove it! Want to make amends for all those turkeys you’ve eaten through the years? For a gift of $210, you can sponsor the whole flock and have adoption certificates sent to family and friends!

2. Buy a tree for the troops.

Thanksgiving isn’t even here yet, but if we want our troops abroad to have trees for Christmas we need to ship them now! Trees for Troops will handle all the details. You just need to purchase one online or at one of the many retailers and garden centers that are selling trees for the troops.

3. Support Thanks and Giving.

There are many great local programs to support this time of year, but a well known national program is Thanks and Giving for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. There are many ways to support St. Jude, like visiting one of their many corporate partners over the holidays. For example, Kmart is selling a special ornament that benefits the children’s charity.

4. Help Hurricane Sandy victims.

A year after Sandy slammed into the east coast the need is still great. Two wonderful organizations that continue to help are Rebuilding Together and Long Island Cares. The victims of the hurricane will need our support for years to come. Let’s show the world that we haven’t forgotten our own.

5. Remember JFK.

Last Friday marked the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President Kennedy. To honor his legacy and ideals, you can support the Peace Corps, the Kennedy Library in my hometown of Boston, and The Sixth Floor Museum in the Texas School Book Depository in Dallas from where Kennedy was gunned down by Lee Harvey Oswald.

6. Shop for a cause.

Thanksgiving is about family and food, but Black Friday and Cyber Monday are all about shopping! Look for online and offline businesses that support good causes. Amazon’s new initiative Amazon Smiles will donate five cents from every dollar you spend to a charity of your choice.

7. Ring a bell.

If you’d rather stay out of the busy stores and save your money, volunteer to stand outside one and ring a bell for the Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign.

Have a great Thanksgiving! Make it a GOOD one.

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