Making a Difference Together This Thanksgiving
Written by: Lombe Mwansa
Published: 20 November 2023


Explore the joy of giving, teach valuable life lessons, and strengthen bonds through shared experiences, fostering a spirit of gratitude



Seize the opportunity this Thanksgiving to begin a heartwarming journey with your family!
May this short guide be your compass to meaningful volunteering activities that not only make a difference but also create lasting memories. From lending a hand at local food banks to sharing joy through toy drives, I’ve got a range of family-friendly options. Don’t miss the chance to explore the joy of giving, teach valuable life lessons, and strengthen family bonds through shared experiences. Now is the time to turn ordinary moments into extraordinary memories while leaving a positive impact on your community.


Before we jump into the world of family volunteering I wanted to give you a quick heads-up. It’s crucial to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for your family. Take a moment to check local details, review safety guidelines, and consider any health factors that might play a role. Keep an eye on age recommendations, dress codes, and local regulations to make sure your volunteering plans go off without a hitch. Trust your instincts – if something feels off, it probably is.

We often find ourselves on a quest to create lasting memories and instill essential life lessons in our children. Thanksgiving is a great time to explore the transformative world of giving back as a family.
Beyond the joy of contributing to our communities, volunteering offers a myriad of benefits, serving as a powerful tool for strengthening family bonds and shaping our children’s character.

Top 5 benefits of engaging in family volunteering:

  1. Strengthening Family Bonds: Volunteering together fosters a sense of togetherness, creating shared experiences that strengthen emotional bonds within the family.
  2. Teaching Empathy: Actively helping others cultivates empathy, as family members witness the impact of their actions on those in need.
  3. Building Character: Volunteering instills values such as compassion, kindness, and responsibility, contributing to the overall character development of children.
  4. Creating Lasting Memories: Shared moments of giving become cherished memories, shaping a positive and enduring family narrative.
  5. Enhancing Communication: Volunteering encourages open communication and collaboration within the family as members work together towards a common goal.

Things you can do to give back this Thanksgiving:

Volunteer at a Food Bank or Charity Kitchen

Embrace the spirit of gratitude by lending a helping hand at your local food bank or charity kitchen. Involve your kids in activities like sorting canned goods or making sandwiches. This not only addresses food insecurity but also educates them about the challenges in your community. Explore family-friendly volunteer opportunities on specific days.

Recommended resources: Trussell Trust (UK), Foodbank Australia (Australia), Feeding America (US)

Take Part in a Toy or Gift Drive

Share the joy of giving by encouraging your kids to go through their toys and participate in a local toy or gift drive. Take them along when you drop off the donations, allowing them to experience the fulfillment of generosity. Look for holiday gift drives that welcome family participation in your area.

Recommended resources: Toys4Smiles (Australia), GiftOfGood (Singapore), Christmas4Kids (UK)

Send Cards to Seniors

Spread holiday cheer by creating homemade cards with your kids for seniors in care facilities. The simple act of delivering personalized cards with drawings, stickers, or messages of hope can brighten the days of seniors who may feel lonely.

Recommended resources: Love for the Elderly, Age UK, (cards for seniors)

Volunteer as a Family at an Animal Shelter

a volunteer at thanksgiving

Teach your children empathy and responsibility by volunteering as a family at an animal shelter. Activities like walking dogs, socializing cats, and general cleanup are often family-friendly. Check with your local shelter for opportunities to contribute as a family.

Recommended resources: RSPCA Australia, SPCA Singapore, ASPCA (US)


You play a significant role in keeping your family safe, and with Halloween approaching, it’s crucial to be extra vigilant. Use the practical tips from the table above to ensure your loved ones have a spooky, but safe, time this season. Be aware of the international fall crime statistics, and take the necessary precautions to ward off any potential scares. Remember, your commitment to your family’s safety is the best treat of all!

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