By Lynne Marsala Basche
The holiday season is an excellent time of year to look for ways to give back to the community or to reevaluate how to make an impact in others’ lives. Struggling is a reality for some people, and in the spirit and season of giving, here is a small sampling of different ways to help.
Burn some calories before sitting down to a Thanksgiving feast at the 11th Annual Turkey Rock Trot. This 5K family fun run/walk/stroll is November 26, and all proceeds benefit the Douglas/Elbert Task Force. Bring a bag of non-perishable food items and have the $5 parking fee waived. There are plenty of volunteer opportunities at the event, too. For more information about the event or about volunteering, visit www.turkeyrocktrot.com.
If going online and making a donation sounds more convenient, the Denver Rescue Mission can give a person a hot, complete Thanksgiving meal for just $1.92. Visit www.denverrescuemission.org/thanksgiving to make a direct donation in any amount to help the hungry and homeless.
Something as simple as picking up a few extra non-perishable food items on your next trip to the grocery can make a difference. Stop by the Castle Pines Community Center on November 7 and 8 from 9 a.m. to noon to drop off goods, or Castle Rock Eye Wear in The Village at Castle Pines is also accepting food donations through December.
Helping those in need also extends to animals. Consider making a donation or dropping off supplies to the Denver Dumb Friends League (DDFL). While DDFL does not need dog or cat food at this time, they do need many other items such as towels, blankets, paper towels, and treats. For a list of items in demand or to make a donation, visit www.ddfl.org.
Feeling inspired? Coordinate a neighborhood turkey drive or clothes collection in honor of the season and deliver the contributions to a local food bank or a shelter. Be sure to check out local schools for any collections they are coordinating throughout the holidays, too. Also, remember students who are not going home for the holidays or neighbors without any family in the area, and set a plate at your table for them to join in the celebration.
No matter how you choose to help someone in need this holiday season, the feeling of gratitude is guaranteed to last much longer than any of the leftovers.