Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
Life > Experiences

How to Contribute to Thanksgiving as a College Student

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UVA chapter.

With Thanksgiving and break (!) just around the corner, it’s never too early to start mentally preparing for the holidays. Right after fall break, quite fittingly, is when I start to get antsy for Thanksgiving break. My family does a unique take on classic Thanksgiving dishes, and I always vow to help my mom out and contribute something to dinner each year. Even with homework, activities, and preparation for finals, you too can contribute something to your Thanksgiving holiday, wherever and whoever you choose to spend it with.



Not every contribution to Thanksgiving has to involve food. I love hanging up decorations from elementary school of paper turkeys and pumpkins around my family’s home. Thanksgiving arts and crafts are both relaxing and enjoyable, and will get you in the mood for the holiday. Here are some ideas for DIY decorations below:



Image credit: https://homesthetics.net/20-super-cool-diy-thanksgiving-decorations-for-your-home/



Who doesn’t love all the various dishes we are so fortunate to eat on Thanksgiving? Last year, I decided to implement my own Thanksgiving tradition, and made a fabulous cheese platter (if I do say so myself) as an appetizer before dinner. I am now planning on making my cheese plate from last year even more epic this year. Whether it’s helping carve the turkey, or assisting with the green beans and cranberry sauce, you can easily customize your own dish and add your own flair to your meal. My cheese plate is pictured below:


Image courtesy of the author




I’m very protective of my Thanksgiving desserts, which have stayed consistent throughout the years. The dessert options are endless: pumpkin, sweet potato, and apple pies, ice cream, tarts, breads, cookies, cheesecakes, oh my! Pull out a family recipe from the archives or do a Google search for a modern take on a classic treat. Here are some suggestions from the glorious Food Network below:



Image credit: https://www.cookingchanneltv.com/recipes/packages/thanksgiving-recipes/thanksgiving-dessert-recipes/photos/best-thanksgiving-dessert-recipes



Volunteering in my community is one of my favorite ways to contribute to Thanksgiving. We are all so fortunate that it is often easy to forget that a lot of people living in the Charlottesville community are not as lucky. The Blue Ridge Area food bank (https://www.brafb.org) puts on a ‘Giving Tuesday’ event every year, on November 27th, where you can provide monetary donations online, or you can volunteer through Blue Ridge’s partner organizations, in soup kitchens and warehouses. Loaves & Fishes (http://www.cvilleloaves.org/index.php) is also a food pantry service organization in the Charlottesville area, and offers volunteer positions ranging from food sorter to re-stocker of food. These organizations are in need of volunteers throughout the year.


Image credit: Image credit: https://www.brafb.org/about-us/our-story/


Image credit: http://www.nbc29.com/story/31684393/charlottesville-pantry-launches-campaign-for-renovation-funds


Hope these suggestions offer you some new ideas on how you can contribute to your Thanksgiving holiday! 

Isabelle is a fourth year majoring in American Studies at the University of Virginia. In her free time, she enjoys binging on Netflix and taking group fitness classes. She has a tri-color corgi puppy named Brooklyn and has an unhealthy obsession with Trader Joes. Follow her at @islorenn on instagram!