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Tuesday, November 22, 2016

How to Celebrate the REAL Magic of the Holiday Season

The smell of turkey and stuffing wafts through the air, kids dressed up in their Sunday best eat black olives off the tips of their fingers, a football game on the TV is the background noise to the chatter of family and the laughter of children. A warm fire crackles in the fireplace and the table is arranged with the good china and linen napkins. After all of the anticipation for this day and all the good it brings, it is important to remember to be thankful for the things you have — from family and food, to health and home.

Our appreciation for an abundance of food, family, warmth and laughter is made even greater when we consider those less fortunate. The holiday season always reveals generous hearts. From canned food drives and holiday meals at homeless shelters, to monetary donations and toys for tots — this is a time of year that people not only celebrate and give thanks for what they have, they also reach out to those in need. The spirit of giving and kindness warms the hearts of all involved.

This year Sub Sea Systems is participating in the “Warm the Homeless Drive” sponsored by one of our freight and logistics providers, AIT. Last year we participated by donating gently used coats and sweatshirts, and through the combined efforts of AIT and their clients, 250 coats were given to the homeless in Sacramento, California. This year, AIT is collecting new and gently used blankets and tarps. “The tarps provide some form of protection from the cold, wet ground,” explained Josh (our AIT representative).

There are many other ways to help those in need. From small, local efforts to large-scale operations — you can be sure to find a way to give back.

We have rounded up a few organizations you may be interested in, but you can always reach out to your local schools, shelters, churches and food banks to find out ways you can support your community.

Toys for Tots 

The Toys for Tots Program, established by the U. S. Marine Corps Reserve, collects new, unwrapped toys. The toys are given to less fortunate children for Christmas to deliver a message of hope.

Operation Homefront

In collaboration with the Dollar Tree, Operation Homefront collects toys, gift cards and other items and gives them to military kids to show our nation’s appreciation and support for our military families.

Feeding America

Food banks provide food for families in need all year round. You can find canned food drives during the holidays or you can organize your own event.

Save the Children

From school supplies, medicine and mosquito nets, to funding education, or providing families with goats and chickens; Save the Children wants to give every child a chance.

Whatever you choose to do — pay for someone’s coffee behind you, donate blood, or serve the homeless a holiday meal — spreading cheer and giving back is what makes the holiday season so special.

And while children anticipate the turkey and pie, Christmas stockings and pretty packages — while they write letters to tell Santa what they want and they imagine what they might be opening on Christmas morning —it is important that the real magic — appreciation for what they have, compassion for those who have not and the desire to help those in need — are qualities that are demonstrated and nurtured.

We have created a printable Thanksgiving placemat that will help kids think about what they have to be grateful for and what they can do to help others in need — while they color the fun illustrations and enjoy their holiday meal.

Click the image below to download the printable file (prints at 11x17)

Happy Thanksgiving!