This Thanksgiving, Help Others as a Family

Posted on November 20, 2012

This is cross posted on the Jewish Communal Fund blog.
During Thanksgiving weekend, families often go around the table and discuss the people and things for which they are thankful. While this adds meaning to the day, many families want to do something together to help those in need and to teach their children and grandchildren the values they hold dear.
Here are 25 things you can do to make a difference this Thanksgiving weekend, courtesy of Areyvut.

  1. Serve food at a homeless shelter.
  2. Most people are home from work today…call a friend you have been meaning to catch up with.
  3. Make a donation to a worthy cause online.
  4. Rake an elderly neighbor’s leaves.
  5. Surprise someone with flowers.
  6. Take time to appreciate the nature around you – go for a hike.
  7. Bring a home-baked Thanksgiving dessert to a homebound neighbor.
  8. Have a garage sale and donate the proceeds to your favorite charity.
  9. Pay it forward. Pay for the person behind you when you are online at Starbucks or at the toll booth.
  10. Stop by your local fire department or police precinct with hot cocoa, some homemade cookies and words of thanks.
  11. Take your neighbor’s dog for a walk.
  12. Visit with local seniors at a nursing home.
  13. Send a care package to servicemen and women stationed overseas.
  14. Help set the table for Thanksgiving dinner and/or help clean up without being asked.
  15. Lend a hand to someone in the community you’ve been meaning to help out.
  16. It’s not too early…wrap Chanukah presents for underprivileged children with your family.
  17. Support local businesses by purchasing your last minute Thanksgiving items in your community.
  18. Go through your clothes and donate things that you no longer use to a worthy cause.
  19. Bake cookies and sell them, donating the proceeds to charity.
  20. Adopt a dog, cat or other animal from your local animal shelter.
  21. Blood centers typically run low on donors this time of year…roll up your sleeve and donate!
  22. Spend quality time with your family.
  23. Show off your sunny personality – smile when you greet people.
  24. Take time to plan your next family volunteer experience.
  25. Many of the Sandy relief efforts will be ongoing during the holiday weekend and you can find projects at
Know of a helpful activity taking place this Thanksgiving weekend? If so, please add details in the comments.
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