Volunteering for Thanksgiving

With Thanksgiving in sight, many people are reminded of all the things they have to be grateful for. It’s the season for kindness and compassion, and what better way to spread that around than by finding ways to volunteer your time to those in need. If you’re looking for unexpected ways to volunteer, here are a few suggestions.

Volunteering at a local nursing home is always a good idea around this time of year. Many families get caught up in the hustle and bustle of things and have to sacrifice time spent with loved ones. If you have any elderly friends or relatives, make sure you pay them a visit as well.

Are you 17 years or older? Do you weigh as least 110 lbs? Are you feeling well? If you can answer yes to all these questions, according to the Red Cross, you’re eligible to donate blood, platelets, or plasma. Accident victims, surgery patients, and cancer patients are just a few of the people who benefit from blood donations. In hospitals, one of every seven people who walk through the door will end up needing blood. In the U.S., every two seconds blood is needed. A single pint of your blood, only an hour of your time, can save up to three lives.

Donating an event is becoming an increasingly easy way to raise money. If you have a Facebook, you’re able to donate your birthday to charity, asking your friends to donate money to a cause in lieu of posting on your wall. Another easy way to do this is by using one of your upcoming events as a reason to raise money. Running a 5k, doing something out of your comfort zone such as skydiving, or having a party are all perfectly good reasons to rally your friends and their donations on sites like GoFundMe, Indiegogo, CrowdFund, and many more.

Another great way to volunteer is by lending your professional skills through pro bono work. You don’t have to be a doctor or a lawyer to provide pro bono services either. Catchafire helps you find a project based on your skillset, anywhere from graphic design to finance.

Do you love animals? Head to your local animal shelter to volunteer your time walking dogs or even better, adopt! Animal shelters are almost always at capacity. Find a shelter near you on the ASPCA website.

No matter how you choose to give back to your community during this Thanksgiving season, you’re sure to warm the heart of others, as well as your own.


Originally published at arielleraycene.org on October 19, 2017.