Ways to Give Back to Your Community This Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving is more than getting together with your friends and family for a delicious feast; it’s about giving thanks and being grateful for what you have. Regardless of how or where you plan on celebrating in Colorado, there are many people in our communities that could use a hand this time of year. A little bit of effort goes a long way. Learn how you and your guests can give back to your community on this special day.
Why It’s Important to Give Back to the Community
For everyone enjoying a delicious Thanksgiving meal, there are those that are less fortunate. Many families and individuals are struggling to make ends meet this holiday season. Some depend entirely on the kindness of strangers to get by, but no one should have to go without during the holiday. This time of year may be challenging for those dealing with mental, physical and financial issues.
As Coloradans, we all depend on each other in ways large and small. The state is known for its kindness and hospitality. Giving back to the less fortunate has always been a part of who we are.
Ent has long honored this tradition by giving back to the communities we serve. As the state’s largest credit union, we have an obligation to support our member-owners and their neighbors. We are proud of our philanthropic work in Colorado and have a long history of donating to a range of nonprofit organizations across the Front Range. We focus on serving charities that promote child and family health and well-being and higher education — primarily Colorado-based university and community college scholarships.
The last few years have been especially challenging. Millions of people across the country lost their jobs in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. While most people have since found work, many people are still behind on their savings or loan repayments.
In 2020, Ent donated $250,000 to three nonprofits specifically helping the most vulnerable populations. We also donated $100,000 to communities recovering from the Colorado wildfires. Our success depends on the health and well-being of the community. That’s why we’re proud to give back to those that need it most.
How to Give Back to the Community
There are lots of ways to get involved this Thanksgiving, regardless of your lifestyle or background.
You can always donate money and essential items to local charities serving the less fortunate. Everyone needs non-perishable food items during this time of year. Donate items to local food banks or soup kitchens to make sure these community organizations have enough food to meet demand.
Sending money to a local charitable organization is a fast and easy way to give back. Make sure the organization has a history of lifting up the community and putting donations to good use. The IRS has a list of certified nonprofit entities that you can use to see if the organization is legitimate.
You can also start a fundraiser online or in person. Encourage others to participate in food drives or send money to a worthy cause. You can manage and distribute these funds or goods yourself or collect them on behalf of an established organization.
Thanksgiving Community Service Ideas
If you don’t have a lot of money to spare, you can also donate your time around the holidays.
Add to the Guest List
Take some time to check in on your neighbors, family members and other people that may be going through a difficult time. Find people or groups that don’t have the luxury of eating a homemade meal with others and invite them to your Thanksgiving day celebration. They will appreciate the social interaction, and you’re sure to have a holiday neither of you will ever forget.
If you can’t host others in your home, you can always bring a delicious meal to a nearby community center or nursing home to spread the joy.
Volunteer at a Charity or Food Pantry
Charitable organizations are always looking for volunteers around the holidays to ensure everyone has access to a hearty meal. You can help out by packing up and distributing essential items, cooking the holiday feast or serving food to people from the local community.
Clean up the Environment
Do your community a favor by cleaning up public spaces we all enjoy. You can get rid of trash in the city’s parks or remove toxins from precious natural resources like rivers and streams. The environment is what makes Colorado so great, so let’s all do our part to keep it that way.
You can also donate blood at a blood drive to help healthcare providers treat patients over the holidays. Accidents and injuries tend to increase around this time of the year, and blood supplies have been low ever since the start of the pandemic.
The number of ways you can donate or volunteer your time is endless. Regardless of how you choose to give back, you can gave huge positive impacts this holiday season.