We’re conscious that not everyone has as much to be thankful for today. According to Project Bread, hunger is a daily reality for 16.5% of our state’s children, and more than 1 in 10 Massachusetts households. Winter and the holiday season can be a particularly difficult time for vulnerable populations, including the homeless, elderly, chronically ill, and those facing depression. If you are one of the fortunate who are giving thanks for abundance today, here are a few ways to share:
- Engage your kids in a family service project this holiday season. Many charities are deluged with volunteers on Thanksgiving and Christmas day, so pick a time in between to brighten the day of someone in need.
- Distribute healthy, locally-grown produce to those who need it. Boston-Area Gleaners and local shelters will accept extras from your own garden, or get involved with an area farm through Food for Free.
- Consider the impact of your holiday shopping choices: when you shop locally, 50% more of your money remains in the local economy, creating jobs and increasing wages for your neighbors. Skip the big box stores and national chains on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and instead go local on Small Business Saturday. Here are links to Boston-area cities with LocalFirst initiatives: Arlington, Brookline, Cambridge / Somerville, Jamaica Plain, Needham, and Newton.
- Join or support a cooperative. Coops increase consumer and worker control of business decisions, ensuring fair wages, safe working conditions, and sustainable purchasing. Help A Yard & A Half Landscaping Cooperative earn a #GivingTuesday grant of up to $5,000 from the Razoo Foundation. Make a tax-deductible donation between now and Dec 3rd!
Let us know your favorite ways to give back in the comments, and have a happy Thanksgiving!