Happy Thanksgiving everyone! As we prepare one homes and turkeys, I wanted to share a few ideas for how we can give back to our community during this time of gratitude. I hope that these tips will leave you feeling satisfied with your food, shopping, and your social impact.
1. Spend face-to-face time with your family and loved ones. While online communication has countless advantages, the negative effects of over reliance on digital communication is well-documented. This Thanksgiving, make it a point to ignore your phone/computer/tablet for a while and focus on connecting in-person with the people around you.
2. Share your Thanksgiving dinner with someone in need. Do you know someone who doesn’t have a family to celebrate with this Thanksgiving? For people who are lonely or depressed, spending Thanksgiving alone can be particularly painful. If you have a warm home and some food to spare, why not invite someone new into your company? If this situation is difficult for you, you can also consider donating to a local food bank or drive.
3. Don’t shop on Thanksgiving Day. These days, the Black Friday deals have been slowly creeping into Thanksgiving territory. This make not seem like a big deal and may even be convenient for some people, but consider the negative impact on those people who are unable to spend time with their families because they are stuck working retail.
4. Shop ethical businesses. There’s a rising movement toward building new models of business that seek to not only to create profit, but to do it while creating positive change in the world. Unlike traditional business, these “B Corporations” are held to a higher standard of accountability and measure success in more than just profit. Search the B Corp Directory for companies that specialize in clothing, jewelry, and other great holiday gifts! Fair trade certification is also a great way to identify ethical businesses – you can search for specific products on the Fair Trade International website and keep an eye out for their logo on packaging while you shop.
5. Support your favorite charities this Giving Tuesday. After celebrating Thanksgiving and shopping for meaningful gifts for your loved ones, take some time to support organizations that you feel are making the biggest difference in your community. Giving Tuesday was created in 2012, and really speaks to the heart of what this season is about – more than shopping, it is about being generous to people you don’t know as well as those you love. Joining in this movement and being a part of the conversations on Facebook and Twitter help grow this tradition, and in turn, grow the non-profit sector and strengthen our community.
Speaking of giving thanks, I want to thank you for reading my blog and supporting me in these early stages. I will post a poll soon to get feedback on what topics I should cover in the future, so stay tuned for that! In the meantime, please accept my undying gratitude, and have a warm and delightful Thanksgiving!