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6 Thanksgiving Cause Marketing Promotions I'm Thankful For

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Whatever challenges, misfortunes and problems you faced this year, I bet you still have something to be thankful for on Thanksgiving. Maybe it's just the fact that you're alive!

I know I'm thankful for a lot of things. After all the important stuff, I'm thankful for good businesses and nonprofits that execute great cause marketing promotions that make me proud to call myself a cause marketer.

Please remember these folks in your prayers and toasts on Thursday!

Hanes Virtual Sock Drive Brings Comfort to LA's Skid Row
It's amazing what Mark Hovarth has done with brands to help the homeless. Homelessness is not a natural fit with cause marketing as causes involving women, troops abroad, kids and puppies tend to rule. A great example of a promotion that flies in the face of convention is the 3rd Annual Hanes Virtual Sock Drive, which will distribute up to 250,000 socks from now until December 12. For each visitor that clicks 'Donate Now' on their Facebook Page, Hanes will donate a pair of socks to The Salvation Army to distribute.

Check out this video with Mark at Los Angeles' Skid Row where The Salvation Army distributed socks and food on November 4th. Powerful stuff, Mark! Keep up the great work!

Bonus Facebook Like cause marketing promotion: When fans "Like" the Kraft Fight Hunger Facebook page and play the 2-Minute Trivia Drill to donate virtual meals, Kraft Foods will donate the monetary equivalent of meals to Feeding America on behalf of local food banks. "Liking" the page serves as one meal donation, and more donations are earned as fans answer football and food-related trivia questions through the 2 Minute Trivia Drill game. I like how fans can choose to enter their zip codes to donate meals directly to their local community Feeding America food bank!

Harpoon Grateful Harvest Cranberry Ale Supports Local Food Banks

The Harpoon Brewery is my Boston pick for the top Thanksgiving cause marketing promotion. For every 6-pack of Grateful Ale sold, the Harpoon Brewery will make a $1 donation to the local food bank in the area in which the beer was bought. This promotion is part of Harpoon Helps, which in 2010 alone raised more than $270,000 for local charities, donated more than 33,000 pints toward local charity events with approximately 144 local non-profits supported, and has performed hundreds of volunteer hours at local organizations.

I love Boston. I love Harpoon for its support of local causes. And I bet you'll love this beer! Pick up a six-pack today and help your local food bank!

Thanks to beer connoisseur and fellow cause marketer Jessica Orndorff for bringing this program to my attention!

Bridgewater Candle Company Light a Candle Feed a Child

I love what Bridgewater Candle Company in Spartanburg, South Carolina, is doing for several reasons. First, I had never heard of BCC until I worked with Curt Weeden in Charleston. They are a great example of a small company making a difference without a lot of fanfare. Second, Bridgewater Candle didn't go out and remake the wheel by founding another nonprofit. They chose to work with an existing nonprofit called Rice Bowls. Finally, the spirit of cause marketing and giving is evident everywhere in the company. In the employees you speak to, on the homepage of their website and in the fact that every jar candle they sell feeds a child for one day.

Check out the story on their new special edition candle. If this doesn't make you bow your head and give thanks on Thanksgiving, what will?

Peapod's Virtual Food Drive for The NYC Food Bank

I complain that there isn't enough online cause marketing. But home grocery delivery service Peapod by Stop & Shop is giving me hope! I'm a Peapod shopper myself here in Boston, but this virtual food drive benefits The Food Bank for New York City. (Finally, something in New York to admire! :-))

The Food Bank for New York City has a nice Slidesharepresentation that explains the program better than I ever could. Create a campaign for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukah or New Year's and ask friends, families and guests to feed a hungry man, woman or child in need instead of giving or bringing something you don't need.

Which Wich Brings Thanksgiving Spirit [and turkey] to Dallas Children's Hospital

Sometimes cause marketing for Thanksgiving is all about the turkey! That's what Dallas-based Which Wich Superior Sandwiches had in mind the other day when it delivered boxed lunch turkey sandwiches to Children's Medical Center of Dallas, the 7th largest pediatric hospital in the country. To further celebrate the day, every time someone views the video from yesterday (which you can watch on Which Wich's Youtube Channel beginning Thanksgiving Day through December 2) Which Wich will donate 50 cents, for up to 10,000 views. That's a local cause marketing promotion I can sink my teeth in to!

Groupon Now! Dollar Lunch Day Helps Feeding America

In the years ahead Thanksgiving cause marketing will be even bigger than it is now. A harbinger of how businesses will infuse cause marketing in everything they do was the Groupon Now! Dollar Lunch Day on November 18th. Buyers got lunch for a buck while helping to provide Feeding America with 500,000 meals for people in need.

Did you miss this promotion on November 18th? You can still help with by being part of this Groupon deal that has buyers donating $11 to Feeding America, which for every 200 sold will feed 200 families for two weeks! Pepsi is supporting the effort with a $250,000 match.

These are six of the cause marketing promotions I'll be giving thanks for on Thursday. Who will you be thankful for for making this world of ours a better place?