Put the Giving into Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and we can almost smell the turkey, pumpkin pie and apple cider. It’s a time to gather with family and friends, and to give thanks for everything we have. But what about those who are less fortunate? You can show your gratitude by giving back for the holiday. Here are five ways how:

1. Feed the Hungry

This is the most obvious choice. Each year, both area and national nonprofits strive to give a proper Thanksgiving dinner to those in need. DC Central Kitchen needs at least 400 whole turkeys, as well as sides and pies to provide 5,000 Thanksgiving meals to clients. Feeding America can distribute 22 meals for every dollar donated. Have a sweet tooth? Buy a pie to help Food & Friends deliver meals to homebound DC residents.

2.     Step Lively

Fun fact: Before a Turkey Trot was a Thanksgiving morning 5K, it was a ragtime-era dance. 

Thanksgiving is a good time for charity runs and fitness challenges. It helps us feel less guilty about that second (okay, fourth) slice of pie. Take part in Everyday Hero’s Thanksgiving Charity Challenge to help your workout pay off for you and your favorite cause. Or join So Some Others Might Eat on Thanksgiving morning for DC’s only annual Turkey Trot. NoVa  residents can trot with Christ Church of Arlington to benefit several area organizations.

3. Attend a Fundraiser

 The best Friendsgiving

The best Friendsgiving

Enjoy a parents’ night out Friendsgiving with Frances Hazel Reid Elementary and the Backpack Friends initiative to help provide weekend food for children in need. If a 5K isn’t your bag, you can still help out SOME at a Thanksgiving Holiday Soirée. Or attend the Chronicopia Harvest dinner and cooking demo to benefit Bread for the City and Capital Area Food Bank.

4. Volunteer!

Giving food or money is always wonderful, but sometimes there’s nothing quite like giving your time. The Jewish Community Center needs help setting up for Monday and Tuesday Thanksgiving dinners. Assemble and deliver Thanksgiving baskets to area seniors and families with We Are Family and Family Matter of Greater Washington. Help So What Else lead a service fair for the students of DC Prep Ex.

5.     Adopt a Turkey!


No, not as a pet. Since 1986, Farm Sanctuary has been raising awareness for animal welfare. Save Tom Turkey from the dinner table. Try this vegducken instead.