Give Back Already, Ya Scrooges

As we all give thanks and eat this guy, it's time to give back.

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and with many still jobless and foreclosures 19% higher than this time last year, we’re all pretty depressed about it here at The CuT. For most of us, it’s not much of a change since we’ve always been poor as shit. We’re now even more thankful for the little we have…like roofs over our heads and Ramen in our bellies.

We’re well aware there are others less fortunate than ourselves, so as we get ready to gorge ourselves on turkey (or its bastard cousin, Tofurkey) it’s also a good time of year to give back. Since we can’t be dumping lots of cash into charities, here are a few ways we can all give back a little–and sleep better at night with our heat just high enough to keep the pipes from bursting.

Food: Clean out your pantry and donate those things you bought on sale and haven’t eaten like the Anti-Couric’s infamous canned clams  (please check expiration dates first). Next time you go grocery shopping, designate a certain amount of money for purchasing non-perishables for donation. Best bets are high protein items like canned tuna, canned chicken, peanut butter, canned or dried beans; staples like rice and pasta; convenient yet healthy items like breakfast cereal, oatmeal packets, and granola bars. The good part is, a lot of this is cheap so even $10 will go a long way.

Drop it off on the way home from the store so you don’t get lazy and let it sit in your car til next Thanksgiving…or worse, eat it. Because Karma will really get you then.

Places to donate: Foodshare, Hands on Hartford, Connecticut Food Bank, Covenant Soup Kitchen in Willimantic, local churches with food pantries (even if you don’t believe in God, they’ll let you in to donate food). Call 2-1-1 for local places between the grocery store and your house.

Clothing: Come on, your closet and dresser are busting open with clothes you haven’t worn in years, and you know it. Instead of feeding the moths, fold them nice, bag them up, and bring them to a local shelter, or Goodwill, or Salvation Army. Chances are, you will not miss that sweater from 1998 if you haven’t worn it in four years…but someone else would very much appreciate it. For smaller shelters, try to keep your donations seasonal as storage is often at a premium. No one wants your mini-skirts in the dead-ass-cold of winter and that denim button down will never come back into style…except in Canada.

Places to donate: South Park Inn, Goodwill, Salvation Army

Time: Yeah, yeah, we know you’re busy with playing video games and catching up on bad TV–so are we. But get off your ass for a few hours and volunteer at a local soup kitchen, animal shelter, food pantry, or after-school program. The time you can give is sometimes worth more than the money you don’t have.

Places to volunteer: My Sisters’ Place, Connecticut Children’s Medical Center,Volunteer Center of Southwestern Fairfield County, Literacy Volunteers of Greater Hartford, Volunteer Danbury, Torrington Soup Kitchen, Women’s Center of Southeastern Connecticut, local animal shelters.

So, like us, be thankful for what you have, quit whining, and do something nice for someone else. We’ll all go back to being grumps come January 1.