Daily 49er

Thanksgiving is a time for giving back to the local community

Krista Brooks

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Thanksgiving is almost here, a day of turkey, family appreciation and togetherness. It’s the transition into colder weather, finals and ultimately winter holidays and vacation. Thursday is the day when we celebrate what we are thankful for.

This year, don’t wait until the donation bins are around town as Santa rings his bell for petty change. The money you are planning to spend on either Black Friday or Cyber Monday could help provide support to those unfortunate enough to be missing out on the Thanksgiving feast tradition. Your money or time can help locals in your neighborhood, Hurricane Sandy victims or the troops fighting for our country overseas.

There are several ways to help provide support. Your second plate or abundant leftovers each year could amount to feeding several in need.

Long Beach has been active this season in providing food around the city. Several churches have held food drives to collect dinners for others.

One church offered 1,000 residents and homeless women from shelters clothes, advice and free haircuts along with their meal. Another church distributed donated produce and turkey, feeding more than 700 locals.

A group of local hotels provided food to combine two large Thanksgiving feasts in the park. The Westin and Renaissance hotels joined with the Hilton, Hyatt and Hotel Maya to provide dinner in City Councilman Dee Andrew’s event “Serving With a Thankful Heart.”

Those who are in shape and want to help raise money can do so in the Turkey Trot.

Long Beach holds an annual Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning for all ages, ranging from a half-mile course to a 10K. Run or walk, it doesn’t matter. It is just for a good cause.

The Community Action Team returns the money raised to the community and areas of need. This year will be the 10th annual trot, held in Belmont Shores.
In the Los Angeles area, there is a higher need for volunteers to meet the needs of the many shelters and kitchens.

Throughout this week and next, the LA Regional Food Bank is encouraging volunteers to assist assembling food packages of donated food.

For more ways to find out where and how you can help, visit volunteermatch.org.

Even if you don’t choose one of the aforementioned methods of helping, find it within you this holiday to spread love and support by any means that you can.

Krista Brooks is a junior journalism major and the assistant opinions editor for the Daily 49er.

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