“From what we get, we can make a living; what we give, however, makes a life.” – Arthur Ashe
Thanksgiving is just two days away, and many of us are focused on two things: preparing for Thanksgiving dinner and the shopping onslaught that begins after that. But not all of us get to do that. Some of our neighbors won’t have a turkey and all the trimmings. Some will be struggling to feed their family at all.
At this time of year, when it is so important to give thanks for what we have, I’ve decided to hold a Virtual Holiday Food Drive for the local food bank. For those of you who are able, I’d like to ask you to share what you have and donate what you can.
To donate, just click on the banner below.
More About the Franklin Food Bank
The Franklin Food Bank does some very important work and I have an inside look as to how it’s run because my wife Suzanne has been volunteering there weekly for the last few years. Their slogan, “neighbors helping neighbors”, is something they take to heart. In 2016, they provided food for over 1,800 families including 1,935 children and 383 seniors. Goals for 2017 include upgrades to the facility and vehicles, increasing community outreach to underserved populations, and improving their clients’ nutritional, dietary, and ethnic options. But they can’t meet those goals and continue to serve the community without donations from people like us.
So why a Virtual Holiday Food Drive? You may have heard that it’s better to donate cash to a food bank than food, and there’s a good reason why. With the money it would cost you to donate a couple of cans or boxes of food, the food banks can actually purchase a lot more food through wholesale pricing. This way, the money goes further and does more good.
You may decide to donate to a cause close to your own heart. If you’re not personally familiar with the charity, it’s a good idea to check them out using a site like Charity Navigator.
Although we’re still a week away from “Giving Tuesday”, it’s always a good time to give. To give thanks, and to give to others. What I like most about giving is taking good feelings I have and sharing them.
Other Ways to Give Back
If you’re not able to donate, that’s alright, you can give back in other ways this holiday season that don’t require a lot of cash:
Volunteer your time
Charitable organizations need volunteers of all kinds, with various different skills. See if one of your skills fits in with Volunteer Match. And if you can make it a year-round gig, that’s even better!
Give blood, platelets, plasma
Not everyone can give, but if you’re eligible to donate blood, platelets, or plasma, you can literally save a life.
Declutter your home
We all have items that we no longer find useful at home, but they can have a second life if you donate them to charity. We regularly get calls from organizations looking for clothing and household goods. Other organizations will even accept your old car.
Walk or run
Many nonprofits have walks or runs to raise money. Getting your family and friends to give back can amplify your own donation, and make a real impact for the charity.
Shop Amazon’s Smile program
If you’re a regular Amazon shopper, did you know you can go to Amazon Smile and select a charity which will receive a small donation at no cost to you every time you purchase an eligible product? Just start at the Smile page each time.
Use a charity-affiliated credit card
If you know how to use a credit card wisely, some banks offer charity-affiliated credit cards. The “reward” on this type of card is money donated to your charity, but like Amazon Smile, it’s a small amount. Another way you can use your credit card to donate is by donating your points or miles.
No, I’m not talking about your 401(k). Many employers will match your donation to a qualified charity, basically doubling your donation. Check with your HR department.
Become an organ donor
People are dying every day while waiting for transplants. Register in your state to become an organ donor and save lives.
Whichever ways you choose to give back, make sure it’s part of your plan. Share your good fortune with those in need…it will make you feel good and it will do good in the world.
And if you can join me in supporting my Virtual Holiday Food Drive, I’d appreciate it!
Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!