Loyal followers of the Workman blog will remember WorkMan, our resident superhero, and are no doubt wondering what he’ll be doing this Thanksgiving. What do superheroes do on Turkey Day? Well, I can’t speak for where all of them might be (Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, Wayne Manor) but WorkMan has personally let me in on his plans. With the day off from his editorial intern activities, WorkMan will concentrate on what he does best: making the world a better place. On this Thanksgiving Day, you may find him tackling any number of activities from How to Be an Everyday Philanthropist. Here’s a sampling:
- Thanking the Troops: LetsSayThanks.com gives kids (and their parents) an easy way to send a free patriotic postcard to military personnel serving abroad. Pick a postcard on their website, write your message, and Xerox will print the card and send it overseas. You can also send a virtual thank-you card to a service member through Defend America (ourmilitary.mil, click on “Thank the Troops”). These cards let solders know that we’re thinking of them here at home and appreciate their sacrifice.
- Making Poverty History: Cofounded by U2 front man Bono, the ONE Campaign (one.org) is a powerful grassroots organization that works with policy experts, activists, and political leaders to find solutions to global issues like AIDS, malaria, climate change, and extreme poverty. This campaign does not ask for your money, only your voice. Take one minute out of your day to visit their website and sign a petition to fight against these devastating problems.
- Wiping Away Shopper’s Remorse: IGive.com is a charity mall with over fifteen thousand organizations to choose from—from Action Against Hunger to your local YMCA (you can nominate your preferred charity if it’s not already on the list.) When you make a purchase through iGive, the retailer puts a percentage in your account. You can then redirect those funds to a partner charity. OneCause.com is another charity mall (with merchants like Dell, Disney, and Sheraton), where you can earn money for causes like American Forests and the American Cancer Society.
- Sweet Gestures: Do your macaroons come out perfect every time? Donate your cookies and other baked goods to your local Meals on Wheels (mowaa.org). During the holidays and for every birthday, volunteers provide homebound seniors with special goodie bags called We Care Packages—decorated shoeboxes or paper shopping bags filled with edible treats, toiletries and small personal items. Packages can also include a personal note with well wishes from volunteers. Visit their website to find your local Meals on Wheels chapter and look under the Volunteer Opportunities tab.
Impressive list, WorkMan! But you don’t have to be a superhero to change the world. Many of these activities can be done in 15 minutes or less, faster than the time it takes to get through holiday gridlock. There are plenty of ways to help others on a daily basis without having to donate millions or become a full-time volunteer. Pick up How to Be an Everyday Philanthropist (or if your a kid, Do Something!: A Handbook for Young Activists) to figure out how to start and discover hundreds of little to no-cost ways to make a difference. Trust me and WorkMan, “doing good” is just as satisfying as pumpkin pie or your Aunt Cindy’s cranberry sauce, and the best part is you don’t have to choose between the two!
–Editorial Intern Justin would like to wish everyone a Happy (Merry?) Thanksgiving