Ahh, Thanksgiving, a day dedicated to community, abundance and gratitude. In an ideal world, this could be the theme of every day, but we all know how it goes: life is a fast-moving train and expressions of gratitude oftentimes get left at the station. Thanksgiving is a great opportunity to give thanks and to give back. Below are some ideas for having a community-driven, gratitude-inducing, Shareable Thanksgiving.

Share Food  

Invite people you'd like to get to know better to share a Thanksgiving meal. How to Host a Stranger Dinner offers advice on how to organize it. 

Put your meal to music, throw a Thanksgiving concert in your home. How to Host a House Concert provides the how-to’s.

Meals on Wheels serves over one million meals a day to seniors in need. Volunteer to deliver to someone in your community.

Volunteer to help at a soup kitchen. has some ideas on how to get started.

Host a potluck, Thanksgiving-style. How to Reinvent the Potluck provides tips on using a potluck as a means of planning more sharing and community-building projects. 

Some areas have community meals, open to anyone who wants to spend Thanksgiving with their community at-large. These gatherings are a great way to meet your neighbors, connect with your community and share in the abundance of the holiday. Contact your city officials or search the web to see if there's a Thanksgiving community meal in your town.

Share Skills & Stuff

Have a skill you’d like to offer to others? This skills-based volunteer program connects those who have something specific to offer (carpentry, coding, gardening, graphic design etc.) with those who can benefit from a particular skill-set. 

Many homeless people have limited access to personal care items. This Thanksgiving, Family-to-Family’s Stuff a Shirt for the Homeless campaign is encouraging people fill a new or lightly-used bag or shirt with supplies including toothpaste, soap and shampoo. There is also a need for baby bags, with diapers, wipes and clean clothes. The organization will help you find a drop-off point near you.

Many are still reeling from the effects of Hurricane Sandy. Volunteers are needed to help with everything from clothing and food drives to drywall removal and debris clean-up. New York Cares and the HandsOn Network are two of the many organizations that are coordinating volunteer efforts.

Help out at a homeless shelter. The National Coalition for the Homeless has extensive resources and a database to find a shelter near you.

Many volunteer opportunities are based on local needs. Check with organizations in your area to find out what you can do to help your community with its immediate needs.

Use Thanksgiving as a springboard into year-round volunteer work. VolunteerMatch connects volunteers with a number of nonprofits and community programs.

Practice Gratitude

Thanksgiving is the perfect opportunity to introduce the idea of gratitude to children. The Imagination Tree has arts and craft ideas to get the gratitude ball rolling. The UC Berkeley News Center offers ways to teach kids gratitude instead of entitlement. How to Teach Your Kid to Share has some interesting ideas and resources related to sharing, community and abundance.

Take time to think, feel and express gratitude. Need a prompt? Four Reasons to Thank Everyone in Your Life provides a great jumping off point.

And Explore Other Ways to Share During Thanksgiving

Shareable’s How To Share guide has lots of resources and how to’s on sharing, a number of which can be modified for Thanksgiving.

Tell us how you're having a Shareable Thanksgiving in comments.  And enjoy the holiday!

Cat Johnson


Cat Johnson | |

Cat Johnson is a content strategist and teacher helping community builders create strong brands. A longtime writer, marketing pro and coworking leader, Cat is the founder of Coworking Convos and