Thanksgiving is more than gorging on supple turkeys drenched in gravy or preparing for Black Friday sales. It’s a time for remembrance, family and giving. However, when we use the word ‘giving’ in this context, it’s limited to murmured words of thanks for the gifts life has bestowed on us. While it’s okay to be grateful for what we have, it’s also important for us to seek opportunities to give back. Life is not about what we get but what we give. It’s time to give our words legs and use Thanksgiving as an opportunity to give to others. Here are a few ways how:

Give your time

Time is a precious gift to give because it is limited and irretrievable. Therefore, you should give your time meaningfully. Don’t waste your time having fruitless arguments at the dinner table. Instead, when spending time with family members, try to find ways to be of assistance — be it making an elder a plate of food or helping the host clean up after the meal. Consider volunteering time at your local food bank. As a child, I loved visiting my great grandfather in the nursing home and interacting with other nursing home residents. Oftentimes, those in nursing homes do not receive consistent visits. Perhaps brighten someone’s day by spending a few minutes visiting a nursing home or chatting with a neighbor. You’ll be surprised by how just a few minutes of your time can make someone’s day or week. 

Support a good cause

Charitable nonprofits rely heavily on individual donations. In fact, one report from Giving USA found 68 percent of total charitable giving in the US came from individuals. From the Tacoma Rescue Mission to the Pierce County YWCA, there are so many organizations in need of financial support to continue the great work they’re doing in our community. If you need help narrowing down which cause to support, consider reading the organization’s mission statement to ensure your interests are aligned. For example, if you’re concerned about food insecurity you might consider donating to NOURISH Pierce County whose mission is to provide nutritious food and support services to people in need with compassion, dignity and respect. You can support a cause by starting a Facebook campaign to raise funds, sponsor a family in need or bring awareness to a cause at the 2019 Tacoma City Turkey Trot.

Share your talentsGot a talent? Share it with the world! If you’re a great cook consider bringing in a yummy dish to share at work your coworkers, a neighbor or bring as an extra dish for your family dinner  — because who doesn’t like more leftovers? Perhaps you’re excellent at make up, good with cars or have a talent for writing. If so, drop some tricks and tips you’ve picked up along the way on your social media timeline. Or if you’re a great singer you may consider participating in the sixth annual interfaith celebration of gratitude. The inter-faith drop-in choir is open to all. For more information about the rehearsal and sheet music please visit: https://associatedministries.org/interfaith-engagement/annual-interfaith-celebration-of-gratitude-at-thanksgiving/

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