It was exactly 8 years ago this month that my mom, sister and I set out to give back on Thanksgiving day. You wouldn’t find us at a soup kitchen or delivering turkey dinners (although those are both wonderful ideas). Instead you found as at the start line of a 5k – the Utah Human Race to be exact.
I can vividly remember waking up when it was still dark outside, putting on layers of clothing and grabbing gloves and ear warmers to get ready to brave the cold. We weren’t “runners”. In fact it was the first race any of us had ever run. We were a group of people setting out to give back on a day that is meant to remind is what we have been given.
That first year the race involved a couple hundred people. Today, you can find thousands meeting together to bring canned food and donating money toward feeding the homeless in Utah.
A 5k might not be for everyone. (Although the health coach in me would encourage anyone and everyone to do SOMETHING active on the day known for eating our weight in food!) Instead you might find yourself visiting an elderly neighbor or collecting canned food to deliver later. Or maybe you’ll volunteer at a soup kitchen or get together with family to create hygiene kits for a homeless shelter. You could get a group of people to write letters to friends, family or soldiers abroad that can’t be with family on Thanksgiving day. Whatever you do, do something.
Thanksgiving is about being together, being grateful, and sharing in the things each of us have been blessed with. Take time to be grateful this Thanksgiving. You’ll be glad you did.
If you are interested in running a race on Thanksgiving or training for your first 5k, here are some good places to look: a list of Thanksgiving themed races here, and a training plan can be found here! Or, if you’re looking for ideas for service, the United Way is a wonderful place to look.
Happy giving, everyone!