The Importance of Giving Back this Thanksgiving (and Every Day)

Every year, my family and I run a Thanksgiving soup kitchen. We spend the morning and afternoon serving those in need, usually we serve about 200 people. It is a good thing to do- and not because it is the right thing, but because you can truly make an impact in the lives of those in need. It makes Thanksgiving less about the turkey and pumpkin pie, and more about the true purpose, giving thanks for all we have and helping those who do not have as much as we do. 

I believe that giving back should start at a young age. As children, this is the time in our lives we are most spoiled by our families, and we should really be taught that not everyone receives a lot of presents or goes on vacation, etc. There are people in the world who cannot even afford food, never mind a cell phone or a new PlayStation. As a child, my parents taught me to give back. Before we opened our own soup kitchen, we used to help at another at a local church. Doing this starting at a young age taught me that giving back is crucial, and instills positive values in you that you will keep forever. 

Fall is the ultimate season to eat good food, enjoy the festivities, and most importantly, spend time with your family.  Here at Her Campus Lasell, we’ve curated the ultimate guide on how to absolutely *crush* this Thanksgiving season, from how to perfectly decorate your dorm for the holiday, cooking tips and tricks for the holiday, and the importance of giving back. 

Now that I am older, I am able to see all different peoples, causes, and communities that need our help, and it is the least we can do to help them in any way we can. Volunteering at food banks and shelters are two ways to help those in our community. Sitting with them and just talking to them can make a world of difference in their lives and also in ours. They are human too, and they would love the chance to share their stories with others. 

Another group that always needs help is animals. Animals have no human voice, we cannot go up to them and hear their stories and be there for them when they ask for help, because we don’t always know what they need. But, we can still help animals. Donating treats and toys to animal shelters, or even volunteering at them, can help animals in need. Even going to the shelters and just playing with them for a little while can give them the love and attention they so desperately crave and need. 

There are so many ways to give back and help those in need. As important as donations are, I think the most rewarding way is volunteering and really getting to know the people in the world around you.