Nothing brings a slew of good deeds like Thanksgiving, but since food kitchens tend to be overrun this time of year, there are other ways to do good that often go overlooked.
As college students, we are typically broke, and the canned food in our pantries will likely come in handy at some point. But there are ways to help someone in need even if all you’ve got to your name is pocket change.
•The Hunger Site
This is by far the cheapest, simplest way to feed the hungry-all you have to do is click a button. Thehungersite.com works because companies advertise on their page for a day, and those sponsors donate the cost of about a fourth cup of food per click. The site also hosts free clicks for several other causes-breast cancer, children’s health, literacy, rain forest protection and more. So log on, click away, and support a handful of causes in less time than it takes to check your email.
•Meals on Wheels
Whether you’re feeling highly motivated or too sluggish to move after a day of feasting, Meals on Wheels allows you to choose how to help feed a senior citizen. The organization pledges to end senior hunger by 2020 by working with volunteers and donations to prepare and deliver meals throughout the country. On their site, mowaa.org, you can find ways to deliver a meal in your community. Or, if you don’t want to leave the house, you can play an online game, sign a pledge or follow Meals on Wheels on Twitter or Facebook to spread awareness.
One is an organization working to end poverty and disease, especially in Africa. It focuses on HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases, child and maternal health and agriculture. Sign a free petition on their site, one.org, to help end famine in Somalia, or shop their online store for early holiday gifts. All proceeds go directly to ONE, and they sell everything from T-shirts and bags to phone covers and scarves created by women in Ethiopia.
•Your own community
Thanksgiving is the season for leftovers. You can live off a week of turkey sandwiches, or you can bring some extras to your elderly neighbor. Or even bake a pie to bring to your grandma’s dinner. Help feed the starving children, or help feed your hungry uncle. Both are prime ways to bask in the Thanksgiving spirit. After all that, if the do-gooder within you isn’t satisfied, local soup kitchens everywhere accept help all year long.