4 Ways to be Thankful Without Breaking the Bank

It’s that time of year again where not only do we feast on turkey, potatoes and pie, but we also take a step back to be thankful for the turkey, potatoes, and pie (and you know, for the roofs over our heads, for our loved ones, for baby sloths, etc.) However, sometimes it can be hard to think of tangible ways to show that gratitude that aren’t necessarily monetary donations and that are accessible to everyone. Here are four ways that you can give thanks by giving back this holiday season without breaking the bank.


1. Volunteer

Volunteering is a great way to give back. There are several ways you can sign up to volunteer right here on campus. For example, Badger Volunteers is a club through the Morgridge Center that allows teams of students to travel to various locations on or off campus and volunteer once every week. Badger Volunteers has a variety of different ways to volunteer. Teams are sent to different locations such as local elementary schools, rehabilitation centers, food shelters, the list goes on!


If you do not have space in your schedule for a weekly opportunity like Badger Volunteers, you can do something small during this Thanksgiving season. For instance, just giving a dollar to the homeless man on the street who wants to buy a bus ticket can go a long way. You can even volunteer at homeless shelters around Madison or donate canned goods to places that are collecting them. If you’re feeling really inspired, you could hand out treats to the many homeless that are gathered along state street. Every small act of kindness goes a long way!


2. Help out a Friend

Our friends are what keep us grounded during stressful times. To show how grateful we are to our friends, we can try and help them with problems they may be facing. You could schedule study dates with your friends that you know may have trouble focusing on studying, or you can help tutor your friend in a subject they may need a little extra help on! If your friend is having relationship problems with their family, other friends or partner, you can offer advice and try to ease their mind. You don’t have to offer advice or homework help to your friend, sometimes just spending time with someone shows that you care about them and miss them!


3. Call Your Family

This fall season can make us miss our families more than ever. Calling our parents, grandparents, brothers or sisters can help us reconnect with the people we love most. Even though we can’t see our family members in person, a phone or FaceTime call goes a long way. When we call our family members out of the blue, it shows that we are grateful for them and want to talk to them. So, on your way to class, during your lunch break, or in the evening, pick up your phone and call your family to give them a little life update!


4. Help Out Around the House

If you’re going home for this Thanksgiving break, you can show your appreciation for your family by helping around the house. If the house looks like it needs a little pick-me-up, go ahead and clean! Your family is sure to appreciate it if you vacuum or dust around the house. If you’re feeling super motivated, you could even clean the bathroom. If you celebrate Thanksgiving and your family is preparing a certain meal for the holiday, you could help cook. The masterpiece you prepare in the kitchen will probably taste even better because of the hard work you put into it.


If you’re not going home for Thanksgiving break and you’re the messy roommate, surprise your roommates by giving your place a nice cleaning! This will show your roommates that you appreciate them and you’re happy to live with them. You could surprise them so much that you may even get out of cleaning for the rest of the semester (a girl can only hope…)!


Small acts of kindness that show your appreciation for your friends, family and the community around Madison will show everyone that you are grateful. Performing random acts of kindness will also cheer you up and give you a better mood to start the homestretch towards finals.