Creative Ways to Give Back at Thanksgiving

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This post may contain affiliate links. Read full disclosure policy here. Oriental Trading provided me with products for the purposes of this post. All opinions are my own.

Creative ways to give back this Thanksgiving.

I know that when you think of Thanksgiving and you want to help, you think FOOD. 

But Thanksgiving is about so much more. 

It’s about family.

It’s about togetherness.

It’s about appreciating what you have.


In my family, it meant going to my aunt and uncle’s house and spending time with my cousins…playing with their toys.

They had a Wheel of Fortune board game that I always tried to get my hands on, much to the dismay of my older cousins who were sick of playing it. 

It was so much fun! (For me. Not my cousins!)

During the holidays, there are SO many ways you can get involved and help those less fortunate than you.

Helping the Needy at Thanksgiving

  • Contact your local food bank. Many will host a holiday dinner that you can serve food or cook for.
  • Donate to a homeless shelter. Collect canned goods or some winter gear, like warm socks, scarves, and hats.
  • Check with the schools. Our elementary school is providing dinner for local needy families. The school asks for volunteers to provide a complete Thanksgiving meal (uncooked) that is dropped off to the families a few days before the holiday.
  • Make cards for senior citizens at a nursing home.
  • Volunteer at your charity of choice. Go to a shelter and play with the dogs or read to kids stuck in the hospital.

This year I decided to rally my neighbors to provide three Thanksgiving dinners for three families from the school. 

We checked off all the food item boxes and were encouraged to add other fun, creative items to the boxes, like personalized cards or decorations made by our kids.

I immediately thought of Oriental Trading— what kids don’t like to do holiday crafts? 

And right now you can save 40% on Thanksgiving items!

I found some really cute items at great prices…

Like this Fall Colors Weaving Placemat Craft Kit, that makes twelve placemats. 

What a fun activity to do while the parents are cooking Thanksgiving dinner!

Or how about the Wreath of Thanks Craft Kit? Kids write what they are thankful for on each leaf of the wreath.

This one also comes with a dozen kits.

One of my favorite items I found was the Color Your Own Thanksgiving Paper Tableclothwhich the kids can color and use at the kiddie table!

I also bought a four-pack of Chocolate Candy Christmas Advent Calendars. I thought that would be a nice touch to include with the Thanksgiving dinners, as a way of letting the kids look forward to the holiday season.

So when you are making your donations to those in need this Thanksgiving, take a minute to remember the kids.

Why not throw in some extra items that will provide hours of special holiday fun?

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