Skip the Mall: 5 Meaningful Ways to Spend Black Friday

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Skip the Mall: 5 Meaningful Ways to Spend Black Friday

Ah, Thanksgiving. A time to gather round your family, enjoy good friends, and give thanks for all the blessings in your life. That’s Thursday, anyway.  The next day, less than 12 hours after existing in a tryptophan-induced, zen-like, meditative state of gratefulness, @#$% gets real again. Black Friday, y’all. Time to charge department store entrances like tributes hitting the cornucopia in The Hunger Games. Wait, what? What happened to all that gratefulness and generosity of spirit? Where’s the thanks? This year, skip the mall and do something meaningful on Black Friday instead. Here are 5 ideas to get you started.

1.) Collect items for needy pets.

Local shelters, rescues and even veterinary office always need towels and blankets to make their residents more comfortable (these can be used as long as they’re clean). They also need food, treats, and toys. Often they will post their needs online, or you can call and ask what is most needed at that time.

2.) Volunteer to take pictures of pets at your local shelter.

Bring some holiday props to make the pics more festive and attractive to adopters. Post pics on your social channels to remind people that adopted pets make wonderful holiday additions to those households who are looking to add a pet to their family.

3.) Volunteer to walk/play with/socialize pets at your local shelter.

The holidays can be an especially dismal time for shelter pets as regular staff and volunteers go on vacation, leaving less people on hand to interact with pets. If you are staying home for the holidays, go to your local shelter and help out. If you are going out of town for the holidays, go to that local shelter and help out!

4.) Donate pet food and treats to Meals on Wheels.

Meals on Wheels provides pet food as well as human food to seniors and shut-ins. Make little gift cards to put on your donated pet food to give a cheery, personal touch.

5.) Make care packages for military dogs.

There are hundreds of dogs representing their country along with their human counterparts overseas. Check online for organizations that handle care packages specifically for military dogs. Include a letter or holiday greeting to the dog’s handler, and don’t forget to thank them for their service.

Do you have more ideas how to make Black Friday meaningful? Share with us on Facebook!