Oxford English Living Dictionaries defines Gratitude: [mass noun] The quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. In the vein of “paying it forward,” here are a few ways you can show gratitude and kindness through action:

  1. Take Feeding America\’s Thanksgiving Challenge.

    Team up with all your friends and family this Thursday and donate to help end hunger in the United States. For every dollar donated, the Feeding America network of food banks secures and distributes 22 meals to people facing hunger. Think about what an impact you can make if everyone at your Thanksgiving dinner donates just $5.00 …

  2. Call your local and state representatives.

    Thank your reps for the work they’ve done or plan to do (and if they’re not doing that work, you can always mention that too…). You can find your representatives here.

  3. Volunteer at your local homeless shelter.

    Show compassion and kindness to a community that is often marginalized. Community through humanity.

  4. Commit to running a canned food, jacket, or toy drive in your community.

    We see a lot of these around the holidays, but don’t be afraid to keep it up year round! Hunger and poverty don’t quit, and neither should you! Check out these resources.

  5. Recycle, even if it means making a trip to the recycling center on your own.

    The fish, dolphins, turtles, and the planet thank you.

  6. Take a stand for veteran care.

    Step up to the plate for a group of men and women who stepped up in the biggest way for all of us. Do more than write a thank you letter and take action with this list of helpful steps.

  7. Register for a fundraising 5K

    and raise money for an important cause while treating yourself to a physical challenge. Run with a team to optimize your fundraising impact and your fun!

  8. Join Translators without Borders

    As a translator you will “help non-profits organizations overcome communication barriers, increasing access to critical information and services while fostering a climate of understanding, respect and dignity in times of great need.” More info here.

  9. Be a big sister or big brother to a child in America.

    Big Brothers, Big Sisters has been around for years because they are good at one they do. Join the team as a mentor.

  10. Love yourself.

    Transform your life so you can optimize the change you make in the rest of the world. Hold positivity, light, and love within yourself and it will infuse everything you do. Be thankful to yourself for who you are and show yourself kindness.