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How To Volunteer At A Food Kitchen Without Seeming Self-Righteous

Thanksgiving is a time to be grateful for everything that you’ve got — and to show how grateful you are by eating everything that you’ve got. But it’s also important to give back to the community, and the traditional classic is to feed the less fortunate at a soup kitchen. There’s a right way and wrong way to do it, though, so let’s take a closer look at how to be of service without acting all high and mighty.


Remember Why You’re There


Photo: Thanksgiving

The number one thing is that you’re giving back, and these people could use your help. Try to have a good attitude and help them get a healthy meal. After all, it might not be everyday that they get to eat this well, so don’t take it personal if they seem a little cranky.


Listen To The People You’re Helping


Photo: Salvation Army Alabama

When you see homeless people on the street, it can be easy to disregard them. But when you’re dealing with them one-on-one, you’ll come to see that they’re all people with hopes and aspirations, even if they are down on their luck. And, if you treat them with dignity, you’ll get a lot more out of the experience while bringing a little extra light to their day.


Put Your Phone Away


Photo: Son of the South

Nothing seems less considerate of the people you’re trying to help than flaunting your own advantages in front of them. If you’re handling a personal/family emergency, that’s one thing, but Facebook will be waiting for you when you’re done pitching in and helping out.

Absolutely NO selfies


Photo: Wikipedia

As a sub-section of both remembering why you’re there and putting your phone away, a huge part of not being self-righteous is not bragging about your efforts to help out. A selfie of you wearing a hairnet that’s tagged #humble is probably the most egregious misstep imaginable. Instead of posting on social, try reaching out to your friends personally to encourage them to pitch in as well.


The Giving Doesn’t Have To End On Thanksgiving


Photo: The Fun Times Guide

While it’s important to give whatever you can, it’s also one of the most popular days of the year for people to donate their time. It can be even more meaningful and impactful to help out the less fortunate on other days of the year. After all, they’re not just hungry on the holidays (End of guilt trip).

By Zack Hillman

Zack Hillman considers Liz Lemon to be his spirit animal, since he also waits until they throw out yesterday's donuts. After graduting with a creative writing degree, he began writing professionally, sometimes for money. He is composed of anywhere between 0-35% chili cheese fries, depending on the day.

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