Giving Thanks This Thanksgiving Day
The original Thanksgiving was a celebration of a successful harvest and shared with local Native Americans who had become trusted allies of the Pilgrims. Thanksgiving remains an important day to remember our good fortune and share our gratitude with neighbors.
Amid a pandemic and a fraying social fabric, Americans could be forgiven if they feel a bit less thankful than in past years, but it’s during times like these when the spirit of gratitude can become a healing balm for both the individual and community.
So, this Thanksgiving, let’s hearken back to the original celebration by giving thanks to those who have been there for us over the last year.
Helping Those Who’ve Helped Us
Without the commitment, energy and sacrifice of so many individuals, we might be in a different place today. Here are some ways to repay that debt and express appreciation for their invaluable efforts during these difficult times.
Health Workers—Putting their personal and family’s health at risk, frontline health workers never wavered in their care of family, friends and neighbors. Consider a contribution to a charity like the COVID-19 Frontline Health Worker Fund to help these individuals and their families.
Military Personnel—They have been on the front lines of protecting our freedoms and assisting in emergencies domestic and abroad. They are not highly compensated for these heroic efforts, so one way to show the love is through a contribution to the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society, which provides financial help for everything from emergency travel to interest-free, urgently-needed loans.
Teachers—Teachers have shown incredible resiliency, flexibility and dedication amid the chaos of school scheduling and confusion. Recognizing that too many teachers use their personal funds to make sure their pupils have the needed learning resources, one way to unburden them is through AdoptAClassroom.org, which allows donors to give to a specific classroom, school or fund to pay for needed school supplies.
Earth—Yes, it may sound silly, but our planet has been most generous in providing us with, well, everything. Our treatment of this giving earth hasn’t always been so appreciative or respectful. Consider donating to those organizations committed to the earth’s protection and repair, like Oceana, Wild Earth Allies, Amazon Conservation Association and National Forest Foundation.
And, perhaps most importantly, let’s incorporate that spirit of generosity and gratitude into each of our days going forward.
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