There are plenty of things to do in DC before and after your Thanksgiving feast is kaput, so get off your tired, turkey behind and get out there!
If you’re a runner—or a walker—consider signing up for the Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot for Hunger, sponsored by SOME (So Others Might Eat). You’ll be doing something great for others, setting a good example for yourself and your family (esp. the kiddies!), and working up an appetite for The Big Meal later in the day. If you’re looking at this and thinking, “All I really want to do on Thanksgiving Day is lie around, watch football and wait for the timer to ding on my turkey,” think about the multitudes of people out there who may not even have a hot meal, much less a kitchen-wide spread just waiting for them. Get up. Get out. Help. There’s a 5K run/walk starting at 9 AM, and a Little Turkey One-Mile Fun Run beginning at 8:30 AM.
How about volunteering with Food and Friends? They have a whole list of things that they need help with! Take your pick: volunteer for Slice of Life and help out at a pie pick-up location Tuesday, November 20th; deliver Turkey Boxes from November 19th through the 21st; or help with food preparation and holiday meal delivery on Thanksgiving Day (or earlier in the week). Food and Friends is a very cool organization. If you’re not familiar with them, go to their website and learn more about what they do. In a nutshell, they serve men, women and children of all ages living with HIV/AIDS, all types of cancer, ALS, Multiple Sclerosis, Alzheimer’s, and more. Often, Food and Friends is the only support these individuals receive. People all over need help, but maybe this Thanksgiving, you can start with your neighbors in DC, Maryland and Virginia.
We’re all busy this year and every year, so if you’re short on time (and energy), consider donating to one of these very worthy organizations:
Bringing in the Birds with Bucks: This year, the Capital Area Food Bank is looking to provide meals for almost 4000 seniors in the DC area. That’s a lot of seniors that need help—and you can give it to them.
Bread For the City: Let them eat turkey, we say! This great group is looking to provide turkey and trimmings to 9000 hungry families in the DC area this Thanksgiving. Each meal costs approximately $29. Can you feed a family?
The Salvation Army: Every year (all year), The Salvation Army helps families. You see them out ringing their bells, asking for change and advocating for people in need. Consider helping them do what they do best. Donate or start your own Red Kettle Campaign.
The American Red Cross: Today and every day, consider donating to the American Red Cross. People in New York and New Jersey are still reeling from the impacts of Hurrican Sandy and desperately need your help and generosity right now. The work that The American Red Cross does in times of natural disasters is beyond inspiring–it is, quite literally, life-saving. Remember this organization this holiday season and consider donating your time as well as your money.
And after you’ve done your part, given of yourself—what then? DC’s got lots in store for you! If you’re looking for a little parade action, look no farther! Check out The Silver Spring’s (Ellsworth Dr, Silver Springs, MD) pre-Thanksgiving Day parade on Saturday, November 19th at 10 AM. The day after Thanksgiving (November 25th), you can have a little storybook magic on your Black Friday shopping spree. Reston Town Center in Reston, VA is hosting their annual Storybook Magic Parade beginning at 11 AM. There will be lots of costumes, over 70 performers, music and smiles galore! Check it out!
Another time-honored DC turkey tradition? The presidential turkey pardon! Presidents have been presented with Thanksgiving turkeys since the days of Lincoln, but it was only with President George H.W. Bush in 1989 that a turkey was officially pardoned. Since 2005, these lucky birds have been flown to Disneyland to serve as the grand marshal of their annual Thanksgiving Day parade. After their service at the parade, they live the rest of their charmed lives in Frontier Land. That’s a lucky bird—they don’t call it “The Happiest Place on Earth” for nothing.
Whatever you do this Thanksgiving, The Brown Bag wishes you well. We hope you are surrounded by love and gratitude and that you’ll consider giving that love to the world around you. Enjoy your families, your fun, and of course, your food. We’ll be here when you get back—waiting to serve you all your healthy, honest favorites to get you through the holiday season. Happy Thanksgiving!