Thanksgiving is that time of the year when we give back to family and friends, and have the biggest meal of the year to celebrate what we are grateful for. Unfortunately, that is not the case for those facing homelessness.
Around this time of year, many of us are anticipating the holiday season where we constantly hear how it is the “best time of the year.” However, those facing homelessness are not able to have that same positive experience of the holiday season.
As winter approaches, the weather and conditions for individuals experiencing homelessness only get more challenging. In New York City, there were about 52,000 people facing homelessness as of July 2022, with 16,000 being children based on the City’s municipal shelter system alone. This means that while we are getting ready to enjoy the holidays, tens of thousands of people are preparing to survive the coldest months of the year on the streets.
Thanksgiving is a holiday that many of us celebrate without question; we express our gratitude for our homes, a bed, food, and more. Still, we often forget that many others do not have the privilege of having a shelter, a guaranteed meal each night, or a safe place to sleep.
Many people have busy lives, and Thanksgiving is one of the few times throughout the year when people can spend quality time with family and friends. Hence, it is worth noting that not everyone has the time to do volunteer work to help those facing homelessness. But there is one thing that many of us can do to help if we are in a position where we can help.
Donating to food drives such as FeedingNYC is a great way to make someone’s Thanksgiving special by giving food to someone who may not have access to a warm meal every day. Knowing that you are helping someone in more ways than you may realize is a great way to extend your gratitude during Thanksgiving. Additionally, donating to a food drive is less time-consuming than volunteering, and you are still doing your part in helping people facing homelessness.