THE BLOG
11/21/2012 05:59 pm ET Updated Jan 21, 2013

14 Unexpected Ways to Volunteer for Thanksgiving

If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.
~ The Dalai Lama

Every year, Thanksgiving reminds us of all the things we have to be grateful for all year. It's the launching of a season of extra compassion and kindness.

Because of this, and the feasting of Thanksgiving, many people donate or deliver food
or food baskets
, or volunteer to serve food at homeless shelters like Union Rescue Mission in Los Angeles, where they serve 3500 meals Thanksgiving Day. Others take time to donate to causes like helping our homeless friends through organizations like Mark Horvath's InvisiblePeople, or hungry kids through programs like No Kid Hungry. This is greatly appreciated by the organizations as well as all the hungry people they help. And all are definitely encouraged!

If you are looking to add something new this year, or to include another type of organization, here are a few suggestions. You can also search for new and interesting organizations and volunteer activities all year on VolunteerMatch.org.

Whatever you do to give back for Thanksgiving and the holiday season, it will warm the heart of anyone you help, and also your own.

PHOTO GALLERY
HuffPost
BEFORE YOU GO
PHOTO GALLERY

Amy Neumann is a social entrepreneur, writer, speaker and consultant on social good marketing. Check out her Charity Ideas Blog and follow her on Twitter @CharityIdeas. Amy is also Director of Public Relations for POGCO, the People's Oil and Gas Collaborative - Ohio, a grassroots organization focused on sustainability, regulatory, safety, and property rights issues in the oil and gas industry.

All photos attributed to Flickr users are from Creative Commons.