The past few years have been a struggle for many, many, many people. As we head into the holidays, it highlights the inequity and makes your heart break for families who cannot even get the $50 to pull together a Thanksgiving dinner on their own. When your situation has gotten so tough that putting food on the table isn't a given, it can be incredibly difficult to figure out what you're thankful for, exactly.
Our own Jill Smokler, aka Scary Mommy, is on a personal mission to feed families this year by matching up donors with those in need. She's collecting money to buy grocery store gift cards for people who stop by (and there have been a lot of them) and let her know their struggles include not being able to afford Thanksgiving dinner. Yeah, you guys, it's heartbreaking.
Whether you join Jill in her effort or are looking for another way to give back for the holiday, here are 5 more ways to feed those in need you should consider.
God's Love We Deliver
A non-stop mission to feed the hungry, New York's God's Love We Deliver sends out over a million nutritious meals every year. There are special volunteer opportunities on Thanksgiving where you can make sure people who can't get out of their homes can still get a hot meal. I volunteered one year and it was incredibly satisfying to get to know people who are so grateful for your help. You can also donate if you're not in the area.
Wilshire Boulevard Temple's The Big Give
My family will be putting together baskets of Thanksgiving dinners to help feed 4,000 Los Angeles families in need this Thanksgiving. If you can't be in the LA area for the event, just one $25 donation will buy a meal for a family of four.
Volunteering at a homeless shelter on Thanksgiving is a sobering experience. Not only will you realize just how fortunate you are, you can gain perspective on how big this problem is in your local community as you serve up turkey dinner. And then do something about it every other day of the year.
Something you can do right now, today, is to pick up some extra food at your grocery store and drive it straight over to your local food bank. The food banks have been short this year on supplies, and this time of year, it's even more welcome.
Your Local Church/Synagogue/Mosque
Most religious institutions have programs set up to help those in need on Thanksgiving. If you haven't heard what yours is doing, find out. If they aren't participating, set up a program to feed the hungry in your neighborhood.
Are you helping others this Thanksgiving?
Image via WishUponaCupcake/Flickr