Across the nation and especially in our neck of the woods, people are looking for ways to get involved in their local communities. This Thanksgiving is a great time to share from your abundance with the people around you. Here are a couple ideas for spreading the love beyond our own families:
1. Invite acquaintances, coworkers, and friends to your Thanksgiving dinner. Many people might have the day off, but not everyone has a place to go. They might feel uncomfortable asking to join your family if they don’t know they’re welcome. Go beyond your comfort zone and reach out to folks. They’ll be happy to contribute a dish to pass for sharing in the warmth of a communal meal.
2.Create a gratitude tree to engage your guests at dinner. Remembering all the goodness that’s already in our lives can help nourish us and motivate us to be active in our local communities. Place a paper leaf at each table setting and ask everyone to write down 1 thing for which they’re grateful. This is a great to get kids involved too by having them find a branch that’ll work, cut leaves out of construction paper ahead of time and hang up the leaves.
3. Shop locally on Small Business Saturday! Did you think that shoving your way through angry crowds at big box stores on Black Friday was as good as it gets for holiday shopping? Think again! Local businesses keep more money in the community and provide jobs for your neighbors, often at higher wages than the chains. Plus, you’ll find a lot more unique gifts and experience better customer service. Check out this “Cash Mob” video from Newton’s Local First Initiative last year. And below are some directories of local businesses in your communities:
- Needham and Newton: http://www.nnchamber.com/initiatives/shop-local
- Cambridge: http://www.cambridgelocalfirst.org/directory/shopping/
- Arlington: http://business.arlcc.org/list
- Somerville: http://www.somervillelocalfirst.org/localmembers/
- Brookline: http://brooklinelocalfirst.org/our-members/
- Jamaica Plain: http://jplocalfirst.org/?lat=42.3722&lng=-71.1788
- Waltham: http://walthamlocalfirst.org/member-business-directory/
4. Support another local coop! These auto mechanics were tired of being exploited as immigrant labor so they took things into their own hands. Watch the entrepreneurial story of América’s Autoclinik and help get their shop in New Bedford up and running!