By Tony Connor, Director of Product Marketing, Public Interest Registry
After a year like 2020, many yearn to gather around a table loaded with goodies and celebrate. But something as simple as sharing food with loved ones has grown far more complicated this year due to COVID-19. Some of the usual holiday cheer may be missing this year, but as Mark Twain said: “The best way to cheer someone up is to cheer somebody else up.” We may not all be able to go over the hills and through the woods to grandmother’s house, but if we have time or money to spare, .ORGs offer us the shortest route to a happy Thanksgiving: sharing our many blessings.
Share With Seniors
According to AARP, www.aarp.org, for seniors, celebrating Thanksgiving in 2020 in person— even with a small group of relatives—is not recommended. To help ease the loneliness of seniors, AARP Foundation created www.connect2affect.org, which links them with local services and resources. For those who are at risk for hunger, Meals on Wheels, www.mealsonwheelsamerica.org, offers a nutritious meal, companionship, and a watchful eye all year round and especially during the holidays. You can find Meals on Wheels meal delivery opportunities in your community here.
Share Your Supplies
Volunteering together at a food bank or serving food at a shelter on Thanksgiving is a tradition for many families. Even if your family traditions are looking different this year, the need is likely greater than ever. You can find a food bank to donate supplies near you through www.feedingamerica.org, which has been helping to end food insecurity for more than 40 years. Or, locate a shelter or soup kitchen in your area through this link at www.homelessshelterdirectory.org. Many faith-based groups and other local organizations offer opportunities to purchase a Thanksgiving meal for a needy family. Washington, D.C.’s Bread for the City, for example, www.breadforthecity.org, gives $50 gift cards that are good towards a turkey or a ham to families and individuals.
Share Your Warmth
It’s a time when we all want to feel “warm fuzzies,” but Thanksgiving marks the beginning of colder weather. For those experiencing poverty or homelessness, having a warm coat makes a big difference. For needy individuals of all ages, www.onewarmcoat.org provides protection from the elements. According to the organization, many families sheltering in place due to COVID-19 may wear coats inside this year due to prohibitive heating costs. To donate a coat or organize a drive in your community, click this link. Kids need the caring embrace of a warm coat to help them continue to play as much as possible outdoors. To give a needy child a high quality, brand new coat, you can go to www.operationwarm.org, which accepts donated coats for children in need and in turn provides children with both physical and emotional warmth.
In this uniquely challenging year, it may seem somewhat odd to say, “thank you.” But, in a very real sense, the struggles of 2020 have made what’s important more important than ever. Anne Frank said, “No one has ever become poor by giving.” And so, with the help of .ORGs, those of us who can help, should enrich others by sharing what we have this holiday season. Wishing you a happy, healthy Thanksgiving filled with joyful and meaningful moments.