Giving Thanks by Giving Back

2 min read
in Blog, Community
photo of someone enjoying a slice of pumpkin pie

Thanksgiving has been a tradition in the United States since the Civil War when Abraham Lincoln proclaimed the fourth Thursday in November a national holiday for the purpose of giving thanks. ThirdSide Thursday always falls on…well…a Thursday. Because of this, once every 52 weeks or so, we’re blogging on Thanksgiving. This happy coincidence allows us to talk about what we’re thankful for, but this year we get to talk about taking an active role in our thankfulness by giving back.

It’s Personal

In our family, part of our kids’ evening routine has been to talk about things we’re thankful for that day. Simple ideas often rise to the top: pizza for dinner…seeing a favorite movie…good grades…no homework. Sometimes our “thankfuls” are a little sarcastic, like being thankful the day is over! It’s easy to be thankful for the things that stand out, isn’t it?

A few months ago I was presented with a personal challenge that really made me think. I was asked to think of something that I was thankful for, but that I took for granted. What ordinary things affect me positively that I just don’t notice or think about?

It Takes All of Us

Keeping a community alive — physically, spiritually, and emotionally — is a responsibility that often falls into the hands of nonprofit organizations. Many of them do their work quietly and without much fanfare. Countless volunteers, often with little or no budget, keep our neighbors fed, warm, and happy. Often, they operate quietly and we forget to express our thanks. Many of those organizations have a powerful message that needs to be heard. We want to help them. And we need you to help us.

Take a few minutes to think about what you’re most thankful for in our community. Then think about the people behind the scenes. Maybe it’s a group like the Champaign-Urbana Symphony Orchestra bringing entertainment and education. Or maybe you’re thankful for Feeding Our Kids for helping to eliminate childhood hunger. There are organizations like Prairie Rivers Network who fight for clean, healthy natural water sources. And then there are small groups born out of tragedy like Rattle The Stars. They raise awareness and provide education surrounding suicide prevention. All of these are groups we’ve provided free or cost-adjusted website development services for. For 2019, we want to give back again.

We Need You

Between now and December 7, we are asking you to nominate a not-for-profit organization to get a new, completely free, custom website from ThirdSide. We will go through each of your nominations and reach out to the organizations. Then, on December 10, we will present you with the finalists and ask you to vote for your top choice. The organization with the highest number of votes will receive a free website and hosting from ThirdSide. You can find all of the details and make your nomination at

We’re thankful to be a part of this community, and we’re thankful for you. We hope your day is filled with the things and people that make you feel thankful. Gratitude is good for you, after all!

Meet the Author

Jason is a co-founder of ThirdSide. When he’s not building websites, making graphics, or meeting clients, he’s hanging out with his family doing family things or hanging out with performers doing performer things.

He has a Star Wars obsession that some consider to be…unnatural.

Previous post:

Next post: