Want to give something back for Thanksgiving?

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, which may sound funny coming from someone who only officially became an American a handful of years ago, but there it is. I love that it’s a holiday that doesn’t require cards, or giving gifts, or all the other phony traditions that have become more about meeting manufactured expectations than about the true meaning of the holiday. I love that it’s just a good excuse to get together, have a good meal, and appreciate life and family and friendship. (I also love that it’s the last moment of sanity before the most commercial of holidays takes off, and thanks to the Black Friday nonsense, that moment is sadly getting shorter and shorter, but I’ll save that rant for another time.)

Anyway.  I also love that, for many of us, Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on everything that makes us lucky, and maybe, just maybe, give something to those who don’t have as much.

For those of you looking to do some good this Thanksgiving, here are a few options to consider:

1. Triumph Over Tragedy. I’ve written before about this anthology, being put together to benefit the people affected by Hurricane Sandy. It’s a good cause, selflessly put together by some good folks, and if you have $7 to spare you can help get it off the ground.

2. Worldbuilders. Patrick Rothfuss is an awesome guy. He writes great fantasy novels. He has a fantastic, self-deprecating sense of humor that makes his blog a true pleasure to read. Having a young son myself, I simply melt every time he writes about Oot. And every year he selflessly devotes a ton of time and money to Worldbuilders. What’s even more cool – by donating you can win some truly amazing prizes.

3. Small Business Saturday! Just got an email from my favorite bookstore in the whole wide world, Mysterious Galaxy right here in San Diego, with details about a new initiative from American Express called Shop Small. I’ll let you read the fine print for yourself, but in essence you can register for this program, go spend $25 or more at a local participating indie store, and then get a $25 credit on your statement. So if you fancy $25 of free books, register for this thing and go shopping at your local independent book store this weekend.

4. National Buy a Book Day. Now to be clear, this event actually happens in September, and I try to participate in it every year, but since I just got a message from one of the foundation’s people looking for donations to this very worthwhile cause, I thought I’d drop it in this list too. Help keep bookstores alive!

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