Thanksgiving Service

Thanksgiving – Ways to Help and Serve the Community

The tradition of Thanksgiving has been in the American lifestyle since 1621 when it first began. Even though this tradition has been altered and modified, the meaning and significance remain the same.

Thanksgiving is a special national holiday that is steeped in individual and collective meaning. It signifies family, fun, food, history, tradition all wrapped into one midweek day. Stemming from a Harvest Festival by the pilgrims, Thanksgiving is now celebrated on the fourth Thursday each November.

The idea of setting a day aside and giving thanks especially for fortunate harvests spread throughout the colonies. Governors of many states propagated the tradition by official proclamation. On a national level, President Abraham Lincoln initiated a national Thanksgiving Day with permanency.

If your Thanksgiving plan includes a California getaway, here are some of the places you can go to serve the community and do something good.

Los Angeles Mission

Every November, Los Angeles Mission has a Thanksgiving celebration serving families on Skid Row. There are many ways to help out community members of Skid Row by offering shelter, food, education, and addiction treatment.

Los Angeles Regional Food Bank

It attracts locals, high school students, college students, and corporate workers who choose to volunteer their time and pay it forward. The Los Angeles Regional Food Bank helps hungry families and individuals who have trouble making ends meet, providing nutritious food to those who need it. Tasks at the food banks include checking the products for expiration dates to sorting donated food items. This foodbank is a great way to help the community.

Olive Crest Homes and Services For Abused Children

It was specially created to provide safe spaces and welcoming homes for children in need of a foster home, throwing family-like Thanksgiving and Christmas parties with presents. Olive Crest Home and Services for Abused Children has been around since 1973 and reaches out to families throughout Orange and San Diego counties by treating and educating children.

Second Harvest Food Bank

This foodbank of Orange County works with many local grocery stores to end hunger in Orange County through community action. It is the ideal place to go this Thanksgiving as you can donate funds, food, and time with a unique and interesting combination of activities like planting, weeding, and harvesting at the Incredible Edible Farm at the Great Park and Izzy’s Corner which is a kid-friendly warehouse space where volunteers can pack food.

Father’s Joe Village

This charity run starts in Balboa Park and helps provide meals to those who need them. The registration fee is lower as compared to other similar events. Its participants include both walkers and runners.

Since the spirit of Thanksgiving is all about showing gratitude for your good fortune and giving to those who are less fortunate, express thanks by involving your whole family in volunteering, donating, and spreading kindness. You can donate to your favorite charity, visit a hospital, and spend some time with those who are lonely and aren’t able to be at home. You can also send a care package to soldiers overseas or volunteer at a senior center. Do not forget our furry friends who equally need your hugs and love. So consider volunteering at an animal shelter for a day and spread the love. Happy Thanksgiving!


–  Susan Bond

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