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During a holiday about giving thanks, take some time to give back. Make your Thanksgiving more meaningful by making it a holiday with a purpose – an Inspired Thanksgiving.

The Inspired Thanksgiving Story

In the fall of 2014, the Beckers decided they wanted to add something new to their Thanksgiving celebration—something to really capture the spirit of the day and make the holiday more meaningful. They planned on having many family members and friends over for the Thanksgiving celebration, so they decided to add an element of giving back to the festivities.

Before dinner, the group gathered around long tables full of supplies and packed bags of toiletries and other goods for people at a shelter. They also made supply kits for an animal shelter.

The guests talked and laughed as they worked, and went home from Thanksgiving dinner that night feeling not just full, but emotionally fulfilled and inspired, as well. The Beckers decided this was the start of a new family tradition, one they hope others will join them in continuing. Their goal is to make every Thanksgiving an Inspired Thanksgiving.





Project Ideas:

Here are three simple ways you and your family can make your Thanksgiving an Inspired Thanksgiving:

Homeless Shelter Kits


  • gallon-sized zipper lock plastic bag
  • water bottles
  • granola bars
  • Kleenex
  • Hand wipes
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Nail clippers
  • Band aids
  • Chapstick
  • Comb or small brush
  • Cough drops
  • Paper
  • Colored pencils or crayon


  • Lay all the items out on a long table
  • Take one of each item and place into a zipper lock plastic bag
  • Write a colorful encouragement note
  • Deliver the care packages to a local homeless shelter

Homemade Toys for Animal Shelter


  • old kitchen towel
  • sturdy socks
  • old tennis balls


  • Place a tennis ball in sturdy sock, all the way to the toe-end
  • Tie a knot just about the ball
  • Toy number one in done!
  • Cut two slits along the length of an old kitchen towel, dividing the towel into three. Make sure to stop cutting one inch from the top.
  • Braid the towel
  • Knot the loose ends.
  • Toy number two done!
  • Deliver the toys to a local animal shelter.

Thank You Notes for Soldiers


  • Blank cards
  • Markers or crayons
  • Phone cards (optional)
  • Rubber bands


  • Write a positive, kind note to a solider
  • Draw pictures and be creative
  • Insert a phone card into the card if you choose
  • Bundle the cards together (no envelopes) with a rubber band (no more than 50 per bundle)
  • Send bundle to: A Million Thanks, 17853 Santiago Blvd., #107-355, Villa Park, CA 92861 or check their website to see if there is a drop-off location near you.

Do you plan to make your Thanksgiving an Inspired Thanksgiving?
Share your ideas, projects and experiences by emailing

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