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With each passing year, it often feels like the meaning of Thanksgiving gets a little lost in the chaos of the Holidays. From the turkey to Black Friday, Thanksgiving can be a chaotic time of planning and gathering with family.

However, Thanksgiving also gives us the opportunity to look back on the year and reflect on what we can be grateful for. Whether it’s our health, or family and friends, many of us are genuinely lucky to be safe, fed and sheltered for the holidays. Following this theme, Thanksgiving also gives us the chance to express our gratitude and volunteer our time and effort to provide for the less fortunate in our community.

There are many ways you can give back to the community this holiday season. While it will take very little effort, donating canned goods to your local food bank or shelter can make a huge difference in the lives of many people. The Food bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina works to provide food and support to over 560,000 individuals, families and seniors throughout 34 different counties. For every dollar donated, the Bank is able to provide approximately $10 worth of food, the equivalent of 5 meals. With an overhead of only 3%, 97 cents of every dollar is spent directly to feeding and providing for the less fortunate.  Donations are accepted in many different forms, from monetary to food and goods drop offs.

If you would like a more personal volunteer opportunity this Holiday season, consider donating your time and effort to Gobbles-to-Go, a food delivery service for needy families and elderly shut ins in the Raleigh area. Last year, Gobbles-to-Go delivered more than 1,500 holiday meals through their outreach program. Volunteer duties range from delivering food to baking pies to safely packaging meals.  Donating your time to Gobbles-to-Go can provide much needed relief and a warm meal for many needy members of our community.

Activate Good works to not only better the community, but to empower and motivate others to volunteer time and effort to better the community. During the Thanksgiving season, Activate Good works to assist local food banks to sort and categorize donations, an important step in providing warm meals for our neighbors. Volunteers aged 12 and up with parental supervision are welcome, and guaranteed to have a great time while helping the community.

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