This time of year, many of us tend to reflect on the things we’re most thankful for. Often times, it’s the simplest things in life that get overlooked or taken for granted.

Families and individuals in cities across the country go without meals due to a variety of unfortunate circumstances. It’s estimated by the U.S. Census Bureau that nearly one-in-six Americans remain below the poverty line. Many local food pantries, shelters and caring individuals will work to collect money to pay-it-forward providing those less fortunate with food, shelter and other comforts. For example: Watkins Park, located in Indianapolis, IN, is expecting to feed an estimated 8,000 people on Thanksgiving Day alone. DirectEmployers is proud to contribute volunteers and financial assistance to this impactful initiative.

This year, as you give thanks, take time to give to others who may be down on their luck. Here are some possible ways to give back to your community.

Donate Money, Food or Canned Goods to a Local Nonprofit
Millions of people around the nation can’t afford to buy food on a daily basis, let alone a large meal during the holidays. To combat this, make a contribution to an organization that can help. Websites like Feeding America can help you search out a food bank in your area to donate money, canned goods and other non-perishable items.

Volunteer Your Time
Donations don’t have to come in the form of money. You can donate your time to help out at a local food pantry, organizing their stockroom; or help out your local soup kitchen by asking how you can contribute.

Participate in a Local Turkey Day Race
Each year, runners around the nation lace up their shoes to participate in Turkey Trots and Drumstick Dashes that support their favorite charities. If running isn’t your cup of tea, you can always donate to the cause to show your support. To find a race near you, has put together a list of nationwide Turkey Trot Races.

Send Care Packages to Soldiers
Supporting our troops overseas can be a great way to give thanks during this holiday season. A simple care package with daily necessities and treats can be a great pick-me-up for soldiers who are unable to make it home during the holidays. Use services like to send your support and encouragement to those abroad this holiday season.

Regardless of how you are planning on spending your Thanksgiving, we hope that you find yourself happy and healthy. Surround yourself with family and friends to create lasting memories and be thankful for each moment in your life.

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