Give thanks this Thanksgiving

Salvation Army red kettle
The Salvation Army red kettle campaign kicks off after Thanksgiving. Photo taken Nov. 19, 2020 by Jessica McWilliams.

It’s no secret that 2020 has hit the world hard. There had been a global pandemic, Iowa had a natural disaster in August, and murder hornets were discovered in Washington State and that just some of the headlines we have seen this year.  

The winter months are always hard for food pantries and homeless shelters as the needs for their services soar as temperatures sink. Frankly, this winter will be harder than most, not based on weather predictions but based on the current economy.  

If you have the ability you help in anyway, here are some suggestions of items that most food banks are always looking for: 

Cans of soup  

Tomato sauces 

Canned vegetables 

Canned fruits 

Pasta, rice, and noodles 

Hygiene products 

Canned meats and tuna 


Pet food 

As you spend time cleaning your homes out during quarantine, consider donating clothing or bedding in good repair to homeless shelters rather than Goodwill or the Salvation Army as they are more desperately needed.  

Blood is also in dire need. If you are healthy and have not had an exposure to COVID-19 or other illnesses, please consider going to a blood bank or blood drive. Donations are down currently due to the pandemic. According to the American Red Cross website, “Every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood.” 

Many shelters will even take donation state from Amazon For example, Dogs Forever of Cedar Rapids will take shipments of toys and their preferred brand of dog food without the need of you ever leaving your home.   

The pandemic has brought a many new challenges but this year, give thanks for what we have. Help those in need and be a beacon of light in someone’s life.  

Image courtesy of Jessica Mcwilliams

Categories: Feature