By Guest Blogger Kelly Magyarics, Pittsburgh, Fraternity Public Relations Chairman / Web Editor
We all learned back in elementary school that Thanksgiving originated as a collaborative feast between the Pilgrims and the Native Americans. Today, many of us associate it with indulgence: juicy turkey drumsticks and scoops of chestnut stuffing ladled with gravy, thick slices of cinnamon and whipped cream-topped pumpkin pie, and naps on the couch with the football game on in the background.
Certainly, there is a place for all of the above on Turkey Day, as these activities are shared with cherished family and friends. Expanding on that concept though, let’s all strive to make Thanksgiving a holiday about having an “attitude of gratitude”—being thankful not only for our relationships with loved ones, but the necessities (and niceties) that we often take for granted each day, and the connection we share with one another.
Kappa Kappa Gamma invests in a member’s personal development, preparing her to be a strong woman and a strong leader, who effects change for the better in her community, her family and herself. Here are some ideas—big and small—for expressing gratitude this Thanksgiving, and for helping those less fortunate:
- Cut out paper leaves from construction paper (or have kids trace and cut out their handprints). Set out the cutouts and a pen next to a clear vase or jar as your Thanksgiving centerpiece this year. Encourage guests to write something for which they are thankful this year, and take turns reading them out loud during dessert.
- Let small children say a Thanksgiving blessing or message of thankfulness before dinner. Kids are candid and honest, and their words can remind us how the simplest things can be the most important.
- Many families are still impacted by Superstorm Sandy. Emergency assistance is available through the Kappa Kappa Gamma Foundation’s Rose McGill Fund. To learn more or to make a donation, go to https://www.kappakappagamma.org/Kappa/HtmlContent.aspx?id=1326. Another easy way to help is to text REDCROSS to 90999, which will donate $10 to the American Red Cross to help with storm relief. (If you wish to give more money, just send multiple text messages.)
- Veterans Day may be over, but our military members need assistance and gratitude all year long. Go to www.anysoldier.com to see what items our troops need, and enlist friends and neighbors to create a care package to send overseas. Don’t forget to include a card or letter thanking them for their service.
- Ask guests to bring canned goods or non-perishable items to Thanksgiving dinner. After the holiday is over, go to www.moveforhunger.org to set up your own food drive. The organization will arrange for pickup of goods and distribute them to where they are most needed.
- Send a notecard (not an email or ecard!) to a sister, friend or family member whom you haven’t seen or talked to in awhile. Let them know what they mean to you, and how much you are thankful for their friendship.
- Help elderly (or lonely) neighbors this season: offer to rake their leaves or take out their trash, or drop off a pumpkin pie with a note. Or better yet, invite them over for Thanksgiving dinner.