9 Ways Your Business Can Celebrate Thanksgiving in a Non-Traditional Way

Giving Tuesday is on December 1. Here are ways you can give thanks and spread cheer to those in your community.

food bank
Helping first responders, the homeless, local businesses — give back to your community this holiday season with these tips

Every year since 2012, Giving Tuesday has fallen on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving in the United States. It’s an annual day and movement that brings people and organizations together to transform their communities and the world. In the spirit of Thanksgiving and Giving Tuesday, it’s important to think about ways your business and your employees can give back.

There are many people in your community who could use your employee’s support, especially during this pandemic — families, first responders, and small business owners are just a few examples. For ideas on how to inspire your teams to help others this holiday season, check out our 9 ways to celebrate Thanksgiving and Giving Tuesday.

Support homeless shelters in your area

Donate lightly worn clothes to your local homeless shelter. Many shelters are offering contactless donations, and are suffering during the pandemic. Consider donating lightly used clothing, towels, bed sheets and other textiles to help out. Use this directory to find homeless shelters near you.

Donate canned goods to a local food bank

More people are relying on food banks this holiday season, which means that they are in need of more donations. Grab some canned foods from your local Smart & Final, Grocery Outlet, or other supermarket and bring them down to your local food bank. Find your local food bank here!

Adopt a new pet from an animal shelter

Don’t forget about our furry friends! If you’re thinking about adopting a new pet this holiday season, please consider adopting from an animal shelter. There are tons of beautiful animals in shelters that would love to be a part of your family, and many of them are already house trained. Additionally, you can donate to animal shelters to help them survive during this difficult time. Check out ASPCA for a nationwide directory of adoptable pets in shelters.

Additionally, if your staff is interested in volunteering at or donating to a local shelter, this resource will help you locate the closest shelter to you.

If you’re interested in volunteering at or donating to a local shelter, this resource will help you locate the closest shelter to you.

Give lightly used toys or an old game system to a Childrens’ Hospital

This holiday season, many people will be buying the new generation of gaming systems for themselves or their family members. If you are among the people lucky enough to get the new Playstation or Xbox, consider donating your old one to a local Children’s Hospital. These hospitals are often less than equipped with entertainment options for patients, so your donation will be more than appreciated. Use this directory to find your local childrens’ hospital.

Or order takeout for your employees at your favorite local restaurants

The restaurant industry is among the hardest hit industries due to the pandemic, as more and more restaurants are forced to close. Help keep your favorites afloat by ordering takeout or dining in (where current COVID protocols allow). Additionally, consider buying a restaurant gift card for your staff. If you’d like to donate directly to restaurant industry workers who have been affected by the pandemic, Restaurant Workers Community Foundation is a great place to start.

Shop small businesses for your holiday presents

This holiday season, let’s level the playing field by shopping small businesses for holiday presents.

At Zenefits, we’re all about leveling the playing field for small businesses. This holiday season, let’s level the playing field by shopping small businesses for holiday presents. Small businesses are great places to find unique gifts that your loved ones will remember for years to come. If you’re not feeling an in-person shopping trip, shop online on sites like Etsy, Artfire, and Amazon Handmade to order unique gifts from small businesses.

Donate to an organization that helps first responders

2020 has been a year of unsung heroes, and first responders have played a crucial role in getting us through a tumultuous year. Show your gratitude by donating to an organization aimed at supporting first responders. We recommend The First Responders Children’s Foundation, as they provide support for first responders and their families who are enduring financial hardship due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Declutter your bookshelf and donate your used books

While many of us have made the transition to Kindle, lots of us have tons of books taking up space in our homes and offices. Your old books can make a difference, so why not donate them to an organization that will make sure they end up in the hands of someone who can use them. This resource will help you figure out where to donate your used books.

Provide assistance to foster families

There are currently more than 430,000 children in foster care, and many of their families have been affected by the pandemic. Together We Rise strives to improve foster care, providing aid to families and children alike. Their initiatives include social work scholarships, reunification events, birthday boxes and more. Donate to this cause to make this holiday season special for a family in need.

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