A Teachable Thanksgiving in Park City (or in your hometown)


What’s the best way to express gratitude this Thanksgiving? Spoiler alert: it’s not just about eating turkey and pie. During the holiday season, I attempt to instill in my two young girls the power of giving back. Whether it’s donating winter coats to those who need them or spending a day volunteering, there are plenty of ways to give in the Park City area. Here are five ways to turn Thanksgiving in Park City into a teachable holiday this year.

1. Spend one afternoon a month walking dogs or playing with cats at Nuzzles & Co.

This no-kill shelter takes in canines and felines from shelters around the area and rescues them from out of state, cares for them at its ranch, and helps them find loving homes. Nuzzles & Co. can literally use your help around the clock with dog walking and cat socialization. This is a great activity to add to your family’s monthly or weekly repertoire. In exchange, you get all the positive vibes associated with petting adorable furry things. Start by filling out a form about your availability and interests.

SLC mission

2. Cook at the Salt Lake Mission or your local food kitchen.

Help other people enjoy a Thanksgiving meal this year by cooking for a local food kitchen like the Salt Lake Mission, which serves the city’s homeless population. You can sign up to volunteer just for a specific holiday online and you can also donate goods for the Mission’s holiday care packages. Better yet… make this a once-monthly family commitment year-round.

3. Spend a Saturday morning picking up trash in your neighborhood or local park.

You don’t necessarily need to hook up with a local nonprofit in order to give back. You and your family can help clean up your neighborhood or a local trail (if it’s not covered in snow!). Head out with reflective gear, garbage bags and pickers (buy at Home Depot) and clean up your streets, parks, and open space. Another idea for giving back without signing up with an organization is to help out a local family in need—make a casserole or cookies for a friend or neighbor battling illness or difficult times.

CJC logo

4. Donate toys, clothes, and books to children in need.

Teach your kids the importance of reusing old items and giving back in one fell swoop. Have your kids go through their rooms and round up all the clothes, books, and toys that they’ve outgrown or no longer use. Bag them up and make a family trip to the Children’s Justice Center, Peace House, or the Christian Center of Park City to donate them to kids in need. Make sure you explain the mission of the organizations you’re supporting to your kids so they understand the big picture of what they’re doing. I recently highlighted the incredible work the Children’s Justice Center does in our community of supporting victims of child abuse.

Photo Credit: Park City Hospital

5. Make a patient’s day at the Park City Hospital.

If you’ve got older kids (aged 14 and up), the hospital has several volunteer opportunities, from assisting with pet therapy for patients to delivering flowers and meals. Brightening up a sick person’s day around the holidays is a great way to help out those in need and help your kids experience the very tangible rewards of giving back.

While these opportunities are great for families and kids, they’re really fair game for anyone in Park City who wants to give back. Also remember to mark your calendars for November 10, 2017 for the annual Live PC Give PC to support our nonprofit community financially. The greatest gift is always in the giving.