Thanksgiving Day, Be Thankful You Can Help
The Thanksgiving Day hype has always been quite intriguing to me, especially since the true meaning of the holiday seems to be diluted more and more as time goes on. Sure, kids still make paper turkeys in elementary school and put on plays wearing faux headdresses and pilgrim hats. And sure, families still go around the dinner table one at a time saying what they are thankful for, although it always seems to be the same things every year. But for many people Thanksgiving Day is just an excuse to binge eat all of those favorite holiday dishes, watch football, and take a few days off from school or work.
Now there is absolutely nothing I advocate more than family, food, and a few days off, but many of us college students can't afford the exorbitantly high plane tickets to fly home just to eat ourselves into a food coma. If that's the case for you, try an alternative way to spend your Thanksgiving.
In the New York City area, volunteer programs are extremely plentiful and offer a range of duties for volunteers to take on. During the holiday season, many programs and organizations prepare Thanksgiving Day meals for homeless people and distribute them at different locations. Help prep for the meals for a few hours next week. Hand out food at your local soup kitchen Donate $5 to an organization so that one person can eat a Thanksgiving Day meal that will probably never match what your mom has made in years prior, but might be one of the best meals he or she has eaten in months.
I'm not saying abandon your family on Thanksgiving to hand out turkey and yams to the homeless. And I'm certainly not saying that Thanksgiving Day is meaningless to everyone. I'm merely saying that if you don't plan on going home for Thanksgiving, or even if you do, consider helping out someone who really needs it. One day of your time can mean the world to someone in need. That is what the holidays are truly about.
Check out some of these websites:
Mayor's Volunteer Center