10 Ways To Make Thanksgiving One of True Gratitude

By Jennifer Elizabeth Masters

A homeless friend we helped in Colorado

There are many who are homeless this Thanksgiving. Thousands of people are lonely, hungry and looking for a place to stay warm. Thanksgiving is normally one of my favorite holidays. My mother, brothers and their families all live north

of Toronto. I won’t be seeing them. My children will be in other states. I know that I am never alone. Although I won’t have family with me, there is community around me. I am grateful for my community. This Thanksgiving, I will cook my turkey, pumpkin pie and take it to the homeless shelter closest to my home. I will carve up my turkey and sit down and eat with some hungry lonely men, women and children. It is an opportunity to give back to my community. I am grateful for an opportunity to do so. If you are alone, hungry or need a place to be with other people, here are some different options. Find one that feels the best for you.

1. Buy Groceries For A Family In Need
Each year communities help those in need. You can help also by giving to charities, providing bags of food at your local grocery stores.

2. Serve Dinner At a Homeless Shelter
Or even serving in your church. Many churches nearby serve a hot meal to those who need one, once a week. It is a chance for people to come inside and sit down in safety and eat in community. They will even give you the leftovers to take home.

3. Give to A Charity
Family-To-Family is a charity that assists families with clothing, food, books and other supplies that they need. You can contact them through this link to find out how you can give. From books, to meals to clothing, if you have plenty and would like to share, there are many who could use your help. http://www.family-to-family.org/

4.  Take a Meal To A Single Person Who is Alone

Cooking for a large family is almost easier than cooking for yourself. I know of several people who are eating a can of soup for Thanksgiving dinner because they don’t have money for the food, or they don’t have the energy to cook for themselves. If you know of someone who is alone, bring them a dinner, along with a piece of pie.

5. Invite A Someone To Dinner
What is one more? Invite a neighbor you know is alone over for turkey dinner. The holidays are a tough time to be totally alone. Even if they don’t stay long, a holiday meal with people is so much more enjoyable than eating all alone.

6. Deliver A Meal To Your Local Fire Department or Other Service Organization. Many people have to work on holidays. It is a day like any other.

7. Visit A Local Retirement Home
Many elderly people are alone. Holidays can be a very difficult time. Bring a plate of cookies or something festive. Home baked goods are always a hit. 

8. Recently Separated or Divorced Men and Women
Invite a divorced friend over. Often one parent has the children and the other is left all alone. For the first few holidays, this can be a very difficult time for a recently separated or divorced person. You will bring some joy into an otherwise very difficult and challenging day.

9. Panhandlers Get Hungry Too
Today our communities have many people who are struggling to make ends meet. Yesterday I saw an elderly man arrested in front of Pet Smart for panhandling. Drop off a meal at the corner where you see people with their hands out.

10.  Give Someone A Blanket

Every town has homeless. They live in tents, on doorsteps of storefronts and even in retention pond sites. They need coats, blankets and food. 

Giving from our heart’s unselfishly is kind. Even if you have never been hungry a day in your life, you could imagine it, if you tried. When we give without judgment, we are sharing our bounty and making someone’s day a little better. We all know people who have lost homes, cars, jobs, family and friends because of their present circumstances. The holidays can be an extremely difficult time for the homeless and the hungry. Not only will you help out someone who needs it, your heart will feel all the better for it. It is a WIN-WIN for everyone concerned.

Sharing what we have, even if it is small helps us to recognize we still have much to be grateful for. Gratitude helps us look up, instead of down. Gratitude takes us out of self pity and into our hearts where we can see more clearly. Giving allows us to return the wonderful blessings we have been given to those who don’t have all that we have. When we are truly grateful for what we have, not just paying lip service because it is Thanksgiving for one day, we are all the better for it. Someone, somewhere has helped us. We have returned the favor. Giving back is what our life is all about.

Jennifer Elizabeth Masters is an author, Spiritual Pathfinder an empowerment and catalyst coach for women. She assists men and women to live from their hearts and love themselves fearlessly. In loving ourselves fearlessly we begin to recognize the Divinity in each other. That they very things we hate in others are the things we hate in ourselves. Self love and acceptance is loving all of ourselves. The more we love our faults and flaws, the less critical we are of others. Relationships heal magically. Her website is: JenniferElizabethMasters.com You can find her on Facebook HERE.

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