The Best Way to Give Thanks

By:
Samantha Dowdy
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Image by Dan Zen via flicker

With the holiday season upon us, a question that is increasingly being asked is “what are you thankful for?” Maybe the answer is easy for you to think of, or maybe it takes some thought, but there is always something there. Of course, acknowledging what you are thankful for personally is very important, but it is also important to consider the ways that you can make those around you thankful as well. One of the best ways to do this is by giving back. These words can often send off alarm bells for some as a “watch out, they want you to give up some money” warning, but giving back does not always have to mean donating money. There are so many ways that you can help one person or thousands of people, and both are important. To learn about some of the ways that you can start to give back, just continue reading. 



1.) Help those close to you to give back to those who support you

  • This is generally a very great way to get started if you are trying to start your journey of giving back. Whether it be spending 5 minutes to help prepare a part of a meal for your family, or writing quick anonymous words of encouragement for your housemates, supporting those around you is crucial to a happy life


2.) Use smile.amazon.com to give back a percentage of every Amazon order as a free donation

  • This is something that surprisingly a lot of frequent Amazon goers do not know, but just adding “smile” to the front of the amazon web address means that 0.5% of every order amount will go towards a charity of your choosing! Charities such as The Human Society, The Nature Conservancy, and Alzheimer’s Association (as well over one million more public charities) are available to donate to


3.) Start recycling to give back to the planet

  • This is something that will directly help everyone in the long run. An increasing amount of organizations are offering free recycling, so just a quick google search can connect you with your local recycling center or recycling-supporting organization to get started! 


4.) Volunteer your time to give back to those who currently can’t

  • One of the best free ways to give back is by volunteering in your local community, and there are so many opportunities to do so like volunteering at an animal shelter, a food drive, or a town clean-up. Volunteering is also a great time to bring your friends along!


  • If you are itching for an adventure, you can even volunteer in a different city, state, or country to explore ways in which you can give back to a new community


5.) Donate blood to give back and save lives

  • Donating blood is another free way to give back, and also a way to give back where you have the potential to save numerous lives. Most hospitals are often very low on blood supply, and every ounce has the potential to impact countless people


6.) Share your experiences to give motivation to those who can give back

  • Storytelling is one of the most motivating things that a person can do for another, especially when it is someone close to you. It can be easy to hear amazing stories about how selfless people were able to give back so much but then feel overwhelmed and as if you could not do the same. This could not be further from the truth. Every person is capable of giving back in some way, whether it be big or small. Sometimes it just takes a bit of a nudge in the right direction, and this is where sharing even one experience can help to create a movement

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AIESEC was founded in 1948 in 7 countries in Europe to prevent similar conflicts as World War II. Now, more than 68 years later, we are present in over 126 countries and territories and still growing providing culture exchange programs for youth.

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Since 1948, AIESEC has promoted cultural exchange. Since then we have helped thousands of young people live a unique experience abroad.

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