Americans have been celebrating the idea of Thanksgiving since 1621, when Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians came together for an autumn harvest feast. It was 242 years later that President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national Thanksgiving Day to be held every November.
Today, Thanksgiving represents a time when family and friends can come together around a dining room table to share a big meal, and give thanks for all that they have.
Thanksgiving is also a wonderful time to give to those in need. There is no better way to say “thanks” than to voluntarily share a small part of your bounty or harvest with organizations that support worthy causes. This not only applies to individual giving, but corporate giving as well.
I know company budgets are still tight, and recovery for some is not quite yet within reach. But giving can and should still occur, at whatever level possible and in whatever form. For example, a company can sponsor an annual employee volunteer day, allowing employees to donate a day’s worth of time (paid by the company) to a local charitable organization.
Employees could help deliver turkeys or holiday baskets, work at a soup kitchen, help build a house, or simply help a neighbor or stranger across town who may need it.
A corporate culture that embraces a giving spirit, can’t help but get more in return — such as a greater sense of purpose, more dedicated employees, and the genuine feeling of doing good.
So use this upcoming holiday season to celebrate what you have, but also to find ways to show thanks and to give back.