Thanksgiving is a polarizing holiday. If you are excited about food, you are reminded of those who don’t have any. If you are thankful for family, you are again reminded of those who don’t have any to spend the day with around a table. If you are thankful for your freedom, you are reminded of those whose freedoms are stripped every day, even in America, who are not able to be thankful for much at all. I wanted to write about what I am thankful for this year, but I am having trouble, as it just makes me feel like I am listing all the things I have that others don’t. This year, I think I will do my best to share a message of helpfulness to my audience to consider those who can’t be thankful for the basic things we take for granted every day like our health, family, friends, cars, and freedom. 

At its core, Thanksgiving is a celebration of colonials surviving their first winter with the help of natives, who we then systematically killed, corralled, and disenfranchised. To this day, their ancestors are still reeling from the effects of generations of discrimination and persecution. First and foremost, we should consider spending some of the money we set aside to snag those Black Friday deals to donate directly to aid programs that help American Natives with basic resources like education. The online publication Bustle has listed several choice nonprofit American Organizations that we encourage you to pitch in and help.

If you are planning to spend the money anyway, we hope you choose to send some of it to help those who don’t have the same opportunities that awarded you the ability to go on a shopping spree this year for Black Friday. Beyond the assistance to indigenous peoples in need, those who are affected by the Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agency’s discriminatory and egregious actions need your help. Forget the ‘illegal aliens’ argument for a moment and think of these people as what they are: people in need of help. These people are being tricked, tracked, trapped, and confined away from their families, often wrongfully as American citizens misidentified as undocumented immigrants or trapped by the agency like the fake college set up to intentionally strip students from their visa status in order to imprison them in for-profit detention facilities. The International Rescue Committee is a non-profit NGO that is top-rated and tax-deductible for your donations who sends 87 cents of every dollar to help support separated children and families seeking asylum inside the United States. Their website shows exactly how your donations are spent and ensures that your donation makes it to those who need it most. 

Finally, we understand that you may not agree with what I have written here. I am not going to get into the amorality, inhumanity, and irresponsibility associated with the mindset that there are people who don’t deserve help. What I will say is your money, at the end of the day, is yours to choose where you spend it. I hope that you can find a reputable charity here at the Better Business Bureau where you can help Veterans and Military personnel affected by a multitude of issues. On this list, you will find only accredited programs designed specifically to help, not act as a profit model or just as a write-off for taxes. Please consider those who may not have what you do to be thankful this year and spend some of your money you had already written off as spent this year to help someone in need be thankful for your contribution. 

Thank you, everyone, for taking the time to read this and make some impact on problems that affect Americans. Have a wonderful holiday and enjoy your family while you take the time to appreciate all that you have to be thankful for this year.