Give Back This Thanksgiving

We’re only a week away from Thanksgiving! Most of you are probably busy preparing the menu for your Thanksgiving Day feast. However, in the spirit of giving, we want to share some ideas on how to give back this Thanksgiving holiday. After all, it’s the time of year when we should all come together to be kind and generous with each other. We hope these ideas can bring some hope and gratitude to your homes this Thanksgiving.

Donate to Charity

As you know, Vinson Mortgage Charity of Choice highlights a different charity each month. Many are local to St. Louis, and it’s impossible for us to choose between so many worthy causes. Rather than try to give you one or two to choose from, here are all the charities we have supported so far this year:

St. Baldrick’s Foundation – prioritizes funding for leading research efforts in pediatric cancer

Gateway Pet Guardians – a non-profit animal shelter that fosters, rehabilitates, and finds forever homes for St. Louis animals

Crisis Nursery – works to prevent child abuse and neglect by offering real help to families

Little Patriots Embraced – supports military families with childcare, financial assistance, and crisis services

Community Living, Inc. – innovating services and programs for children and adults with disabilities

Wings of Hope – transports medical supplies to remote areas and flies children and their families for free to receive the best possible medical care

KidSmart – gives free school supplies for children in need in the St. Louis area

CHADS Coalition – raises awareness about youth suicide and initiates programs in schools to prevent bullying

Gateway to Hope – assists with medical costs and provides support and advocacy for people with breast cancer

BACK@YOU – provides backpacks full of much-needed supplies to the homeless population of St. Louis

Volunteer Your Time

Serve dinner at a local soup kitchen. Organize a winter clothes drive in your neighborhood for a local shelter. Read a book to patients in a nursing home or a children’s hospital. Become a pet foster parent with a local shelter to give needy pets a temporary home before they find their forever family. Donate your old (but still working) electronics and computers to your local community center. Offer to watch a friend or family member’s children, so they can have a little time to themselves.

The possibilities are endless. Take something you’re interested in or something you’re passionate about, and do a little research on related organizations or programs in your area. It’s a great way to show up for your community and show gratitude for all your blessings.

Pay it Forward

Some of the loveliest gestures can also be the smallest. The concept of “paying it forward” was popularized by the 2000 film “Pay it Forward.” The idea is that you do something kind for someone else, and encourage them to do something nice for someone else when they are able to do so. There are lots of small ways you can start this good karma train.

When you go out to eat, ask your server to let you cover the bill of that family of 5. Pay for the person behind you in the toll booth. Put some quarters in a meter that’s about to expire. Take a warm beverage out to someone who’s working in the cold. Send a holiday care package or a nice letter to someone stationed overseas. Offer to help do yard work for the elderly couple in your neighborhood. Whatever it is, do it out of kindness and love, and you’ll be right in the Thanksgiving spirit.