It’s the Thanksgiving edition of our “Five Ways to be a Good Neighbor” series, with five suggestions of how you can be be a good neighbor in honor of one of America’s most treasured holidays. What better way to show how thankful you are by paying it forward to someone else?
1. Donate a Turkey – Today!: There is a serious turkey shortage at food banks and organizations around the Bay Area that provide the traditional bird to families in need. More than 10,000 were needed by various agencies as earlier this week. To donate, buy frozen and deliver (still frozen) to the agency of your choice. See the bottom of this post for a list of groups asking for donations. West Valley Community Services also needs help with its Thanksgiving meal event.
2. Invite an “Orphan” to Dinner: Set an extra place at the table for someone you know is going to be alone this Thanksgiving. Make them feel welcome and part of the celebration.
3. Mend a Relationship: Don’t go through another holiday harboring hard feelings toward a family member, close friend or neighbor. Offer a sincere apology, if necessary, and work toward forgiving past transgressions. Don’t try to control the outcome of your interactions; just focus on the good, and let go of any expectations.
4. Turkey Trot: Join 25,000 of your Bay Area neighbors Thanksgiving morning in downtown San Jose for the giant Applied Materials Silicon Valley Turkey Trot. This year’s event benefits the Children’s Health Benefit of Santa Clara County, the Housing Trust of Santa Clara County, and Second Harvest Food Bank. There are a number of races/walks for all ages of every ability and skill level. There is no onsite registration, and registration is cut off at 25,000, so sign up as soon as possible.
5. Organize a Neighborhood Holiday Drive: Instead of lining up at all those stores for Black Friday, put the day off from work and school to good use by organizing a neighborhood food, toy, clothing, or blanket drive. A long list of agencies are collecting food and other items to help the thousands of homeless and low-income people and families in the San Francisco Bay Area during the holidays. Pick one, make a flyer detailing what you’re collecting, and then either drop off the flyers on doorsteps, or actually knock on some doors and share face-to-face with your neighbors. Set a deadline when neighbors can either drop off items at your place, or set out in front of their residences for pickup. Invite a couple of other neighbors to help you in the project. When you’ve delivered all the donations to the charity, make sure to follow up with another flyer or email to neighbors sharing donation totals and thanking them for their participation.
Agencies in Need of Turkey Donations
Note: many of these charities also need things like hams, and nonperishable canned and packaged foods. Consult websites for more information. If you know of more agencies in need of turkeys and other holiday food donations, please tell us in the comments.
CityTeam International - San Jose
EHC LifeBuilders - San Jose
Sacred Heart Community Services - San Jose
Martha’s Kitchen - San Jose
Santa Maria Urban Ministry – San Jose
Ecumenical Hunger Program – East Palo Alto
Louis P. Guaraldi Food Basket Program – South San Francisco; contact Al Banfield at firstname.lastname@example.org.
League of Volunteers – Newark