St. Louis Community Foundation

8 Ways to Add Giving to Your Thanksgiving Plans

While everyone loves spending Thanksgiving Day with their family, eating home cooked meals, what makes the holiday more meaningful is giving back to your community. The original intent of the Thanksgiving holiday was to gather and have gratitude for your blessings that year – here at the St. Louis Community Foundation, we believe that the perfect way to do so is through giving.

Make giving a new tradition for your family with these helpful tips:

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1. Donate your extra food to your local food pantry.

We all know how much leftovers there are after the holidays are over – many times, the food just sits in the fridge and eventually goes to waste. This year try donating your food to a local food pantry, so it is appreciated fully, just as you intended it to be.

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2. Sign up for a Turkey Trot in St. Louis.

Thanksgiving Day is the most popular race day in America. Your participation in a race will support local St. Louis food pantries.  You can start a new Thanksgiving tradition by running or walking in a local Turkey Trot. Not only will the race help others, it will also help you – the Turkey Trot promises to “help balance the afternoon’s caloric intake.” There are several turkey trots happening in St. Louis, find one near you here.

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3. Send a card to the troops or sponsor their phone call home.

Those who can’t be home during the Thanksgiving season deserve some extra appreciation. When your family gathers on Thanksgiving, write a card to someone serving and have everyone sign it. You can even sponsor a care package through Operation Gratitude here. Or, you could give a family the opportunity to talk to their loved ones on Thanksgiving by sponsoring a phone call home for someone serving here. These little gestures could make their holiday so much brighter.

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4. Put on a “Friendsgiving” celebration.

Gathering friends together and cooking a nice meal is an easy way to give this holiday season – a Thanksgiving meal is a great way to show friends how much you love and appreciate them!

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5. Volunteer on Thanksgiving Day.

Thanksgiving Day volunteering could be the perfect pre-dinner activity for you and your family. Not only will you bond in your time volunteering, but you will be helping a very worthy cause. Thanksgiving is often the busiest day for food pantries and soup kitchens, so be sure to check similar organizations close to you first. More Thanksgiving volunteer opportunities in St. Louis are available here.

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6. Visit a nearby senior center.

You and your family can make someone’s Thanksgiving by visiting your local senior center. On a day meant for thankfulness, everyone deserves to be surrounded by people who care. Stop by and listen to some of the amazing stories that their generation has to tell.

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7. Donate to a #GivingTuesday campaign.

Every year, beginning the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, non-profits and other charitable organizations begin their #GivingTuesday campaigns to help raise money for a good cause during the holiday season. Donating to one or more of these campaigns can make a huge difference for your community. Find out more about how you can participate in #GivingTuesday here.

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8. Create a fund with the St. Louis Community Foundation.

At the St. Louis Community Foundation, we pride ourselves in the impact our donors have in our city. The Foundation serves as your giving partner – right in your own community – that supports you, your causes, and your region. Through various funds, the Foundation simplifies giving and provides significant potential tax advantages, helping you give more to the causes that you care deeply about.

Call us at (314) 588-8200 or email to learn more about setting up a fund with us.

From all of us at the St. Louis Community Foundation, have a happy Thanksgiving!