Waltonian Guide to Expressing Your Thankfulness

Thankfulness is often expressed in passing or with words. Reading about those less fortunate may invoke a silent expression or prayer of thankfulness for all that you have. Or perhaps looking out the window on a cold, rainy day may cause a sensation of gratitude for the roof overhead. Maybe thankfulness is quickly mumbled before taking a bite of a delicious meal. People seem to naturally express gratitude in thought or by spoken words, but it might be better expressed through a more tangible medium that requires very little time or money.

1. Giving back to those less fortunate is a tangible and productive way to show how thankful you are for all that you have. Expressing to yourself or verbalizing how thankful you are for your belongings is an empty expression. To truly show how grateful you are, donate your time volunteering at a nonprofit thrift shop, or donate clothes to those who may not have the means to buy new ones through groups like the American Red Cross, who will then distribute them to the victims of natural disasters.

2. While snuggled up in a blanket watching the rain patter against the window, it is easy to be thankful for the shelter that guards you against the elements. However, simply muttering appreciation does not truly display the feeling nor does it help those who are suffering. Spending a few hours volunteering at a homeless shelter can be a way to turn your abstract thankfulness into a tangible appreciation. Helping those who are currently unable to provide themselves with shelter can display how thankful you truly are. Valley Forge REACT is an emergency shelter that also provides food and clothing to the families that seek its refuge, and it is always looking for volunteers to help the shelter run smoothly and give the customers the help they need.

3. How wonderful is it to sit down to a warm meal that is destined to be delicious? Now, imagine never having anyone to prepare a hot meal for you nor the means to make one yourself. This grim thought instantly sparks gratitude, but it should also inspire action. Finding time to make a hot meal for someone puts your thankfulness into a constructive action. Volunteering at your local food pantry or soup kitchen will directly help those in your community who are unable to provide themselves with food.

4. Volunteering is an excellent way to show thankfulness for all that you have been blessed with. However, you can also express gratitude through small daily acts. A smile, a “thank you,” or a small gesture, such as a handwritten note or a phone call to let someone know they are on your mind, are simple ways to display thankfulness and kindness each day.

Thankfulness is a sentiment that can easily be seen as empty. Volunteering is a great way to express the gratitude that you feel and, in many cases, will increase it by volumes.

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