4 Ways You Can Start With The Heart This Thanksgiving

Osmosis Team
Nov 7, 2019

If you’re living in the U.S., you’ll know that it’s almost time for Thanksgiving. Traditionally, this holiday is a time when Americans celebrate the blessings of the harvest. Nowadays, people tend to reflect more generally on their personal good fortune and, if they have the means, look for ways to give back to the community. 

Getting together with some classmates for Friendsgiving this year? Why not start with the heart and volunteer together, or donate to a charity like Movember?

If you’re stuck for ideas, we’ve created a list of ways you can give back this Thanksgiving.  


Community volunteering is something everyone can do to reach further and have each other’s backs this Thanksgiving. Whether you’re reading to the elderly or handing out hot soup at your local kitchen, your efforts can make a big difference in people’s lives and spread joy. Volunteering is also a great way to meet new people while building up your resume.

If you’re low on time, consider donating directly to one of your local organizations, or to VolunteerMatch, which helps charities around the world connect with volunteers.

Help your local shelter stock up on essentials

If you’re strapped for cash but still want to give back, make like Marie Kondo and go through your closet. Chances are there are a few items you just don’t wear anymore that someone at your local shelter might benefit from. Other in-demand items at shelters include:

  • Socks (this is a big one!)

  • Hand sanitizer

  • Tampons, pads, and other period care products

  • Blankets

  • Toothbrushes & toothpaste

Donate to a charity

Give back to an organization of your choice this Thanksgiving. If you don’t have a favorite charity, here’s a few we’d like to highlight this year:

World Central Kitchen

World Central Kitchen is a global organization that provides meals to communities struggling in the wake of natural disasters and other humanitarian crises. Just this year, they’ve provided the comfort of home-cooked food to survivors of Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas, the Kinkade Fire in Sonoma County, California, Cyclone Idai in Mozambique, the ongoing Venezuela crisis, and more.

The American Indian College Fund (AICF)

According to the American Indian College Fund, just 14 percent of American Indians and Alaskan Natives (AIAN) hold a college degree. The AICF is dedicated to helping AIAN pursue higher education by providing all the essential resources for successfully pursuing an education.  

Second Harvest of Silicon Valley

Tech’s booming in Silicon Valley, with major consequences for the local economy. Second Harvest is a charity that’s been set up to help people who have been negatively impacted by the growing cost of living in the area. Did you know that 1 in every 10 people in Silicon Valley receives food from Second Harvest? Consider donating today to help them out.  

Give blood

Some might consider this an unusual Friendsgiving activity, but there’s never a bad time to give blood. Someone needs blood every two seconds in the US, but only 3 percent of Americans donate each year.

Find a blood drive near you by visiting the American Red Cross.

Do you have plans to make a positive impact on the world this Thanksgiving? Feel free to tag us in your volunteer photos on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter—we’d love to see what you’re up to!