12 Charitable Ways to Celebrate Thanksgiving

by Briana Marie
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Celebrate Thanksgiving By Giving Back

While the holidays are a great opportunity to spend time with family and indulge in some yummy eats, it is also a great opportunity to serve others who do not have these same luxuries.

The holidays can be a very lonely, and difficult time for many, but there are things we can do to bring that holiday cheer into their lives. As a matter of fact, you can serve others while getting in that quality family time using one of these 12 Charitable Ways to Celebrate Thanksgiving.

Celebrate thanksgiving by volunteering

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Adopt a family for dinner

I’m sure you’re familiar with the concept of adopting a family for Christmas, but why not adopt a family for Thanksgiving as well? This could be a neighbor who is going through a tough time, a military family, or whoever you feel could really use a nice home-cooked meal.

Visit a hospital

Visit a local hospital, and distribute cards and/or stuffed animals that’ll brighten the patients’ day. You can even sit and talk for a minute. Sometimes people just want someone to talk to.

Make a dinner or treat for emergency responders

Make a nice warm meal for your local police or fire department. This is a great way to thank them for their service to the community.

Go through your closets and drawers to find clothes (or shoes) that you no longer wear. You can donate these items to a local church or organizations such as the Salvation Army.

Distribute care packs to the homeless

Create a care package filled with items such as water bottles, non-perishable snacks, socks, gloves, lip balm, hand wipes, feminine hygiene products, dental hygiene travel set, comb and brush, Kleenex, lotion, blanket, etc. Hand these care packs out to individuals you see living on the streets, or even in homeless shelters.

Send thank you cards to the military

Make thank you cards as a family to send to our military. This is a good way to send some holiday cheer our soldiers’ way.

Organize a Thanksgiving basket drive

Enlist the help of your friends and family members to collect items you can use to create Thanksgiving baskets for homeless shelters, assisted living facilities, or hospitals.

Volunteer at an animal shelter

Our animal friends need some love too! Spend some of your Thanksgiving charity efforts helping our beloved animal family at an animal shelter.

Host a Bingo night at an assisted living facility

Bring some Thanksgiving fun to an assisted living facility by hosting a bingo night for residents. You can even bring some special treats for them to enjoy while they play.

Gather some food to donate to your local food bank.

Serve dinner at a soup kitchen

Help fill a few bellies this Thanksgiving. Serve a nice warm dinner at a soup kitchen.

Hand out smile cards

This is a fun and easy way to spread a smile this Thanksgiving. Hand out some of these cards while you are out and about and watch the recipients’ faces light up.

There are lots of fun ways to celebrate Thanksgiving through service to others. We would love for you to share some of your ideas on charitable ways to celebrate Thanksgiving in the comments below.


  • Briana Marie

    Briana Marie is a mental health and financial literacy advocate, and founder of Major League Mommy. In her spare time, Briana enjoys yoga, travel, and spending time with her Husband and two daughters.

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