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Importance of Thanksgiving for the Homeless and Underprivileged

Allison Armijo

Historically known as a time for giving thanks and appreciates important people, Thanksgiving is a gratitude-filled day that knows no bounds. From hand-drawn turkeys to cooking up the actual birds, Thanksgiving reigns special important in choice communities. Although that seems like a vague statement, some people appreciate Thanksgiving more than others. A couple of the most appreciative communities include that of the homeless and underprivileged. This may seem ironic to some because although those groups generally have few material values to feel thankful for, their cherish personal bonds more than people of the aristocratic communities, historically. Although this may not be true for all cases, Thanksgiving is a sentimental and vulnerable time for those homeless and underprivileged who may not have families to rejoice with or meals to indulge in.

One of the reasons these two communities may have a deeper appreciation for Thanksgiving is because of the soup kitchens. Thanksgiving, statistically one of the most popular holidays for people to volunteer or even donate on, gives more opportunity for those less fortunate to have a meaningful Thanksgiving holiday and give thanks to those who have helped them better themselves or even just give them a meal. Now, this is not to say that the homeless communities or underprivileged population receive no decent meals whatsoever and live in absolute penury, but around Thanksgiving, those conditions improve and with that, emotions and spirits. Furthermore, the emotional effect of such kind acts has the potential to uplift a population of spirits and help those less fortunate than others.

In addition to the emotional and ultimately physical effect of the importance of Thanksgiving, sometimes people take things, in general, and especially holidays, for granted. Without a constant worry of where a next meal will come from, people lose focus at what is really important and start to take advantage of things that others may have to work hard for. Although that may seem like an umbrella statement, it is often difficult to comprehend hard conditions if one has never personally experienced them. Therefore, it is extremely important to give back to communities and appreciate the small things in life; something that seems easy for one person to attain may be extremely difficult for another. If people can put themselves in others’ shoes, Thanksgiving could take a new meaning. Not one of turkey and stuffing, but one of gratitude and appreciation for not only those important to a singular person, but those who may be having a hard time just getting a meal.


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