(Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay)

By Lauren Louie

Don’t let treasured traditions grow stale and repetitive! Find a way to celebrate Thanksgiving by giving back in a whole new way. Here are some apps available right now that make it easy and convenient to take part in the spirit of giving!

IMPACT
Of all the charities and causes to support, which one should you choose? IMPACT can help find the perfect one. IMPACT is an investing app that connects individuals with companies that have like-minded values using a profile’s preferences and a rating system. The app features 13 values across a variety of categories, such as environmental sustainability, racial and gender equality, and LGBTQ inclusion. Of the 13 values, users rank which are most important to them and can also exclude investments based on 10 categories they’d like to avoid, including animal testing, corporate political spending, and environmental pollution. The app then identifies companies that closely align with the user’s values, effectively streamlining the sustainable investing process to one easy experience. IMPACT’s charitable giving feature operates in a similar fashion. The charitable giving feature allows users to make cash donations to nonprofits directly from the app. Available to U.S. clients only, charities can be filtered by subject, people served, or by location. The IMPACT app provides a simple presentation of the charity’s vital information without having to look through their website. You can find the charity’s mission statement, which values they align with, a link to their website, and a breakdown in percentages of how and where the donation will be spent. IMPACT’s charitable giving feature makes it easy to find charities that are committed and vetted, and best of all, helps you find a charity nearby that will benefit the local community. 

Food Waste Apps
On Thanksgiving especially, there is no shortage of food. The holiday is notorious for reaping tupperwares and tupperwares worth of leftovers, some even claiming that the next-day turkey sandwich is better than the meal itself. Grocery stores, however, don’t have use for leftovers or even foods that are close to their expiration date. Hunger is an accessibility issue, not a scarcity one, so if you’re looking for something different from the usual soup kitchen, there are a variety of apps that want to feed hungry people (including yourself) in effort to combat food waste. The app Flashfood allows users to purchase grocery items that are near their sell-by date at a major discount. Food for All partners with restaurants and cafes that will sell meals an hour before closing time at discounts as high as 80 percent. Other apps, like FoodRescueHero and Food Rescue Us, connect food donations to nonprofits by coordinating the transportation of goods with the help of a network of volunteers. For anyone interested in donating, requesting a donation (as an organization), sponsoring meals, or volunteering, Food Connect is a hub for all sorts of opportunities. Because this kind of volunteerism requires participating locations, some of these apps are only available in certain cities. Download whichever app serves your purpose and volunteer as a driver or score a great deal on food that would otherwise go to waste.

Charity Miles
Feel a little sluggish after indulging in the holiday spread? Take a walk to help digest while donating to a good cause at the same time! Charity Miles is a free running and walking app that logs all types of movement, whether it be hiking, dancing, or biking. For every mile you log, Charity Miles will donate to the charity of your choice from their corporate sponsorship pool. Users also have the option of being sponsored by their friends and family, which is a great alternative for those who prefer to spend Thanksgiving being grateful for the couch. The app can sync with a device’s existing pedometer or Strava and has raised $2,750,000 for various, world-class charities. Join their community of “active-ists” and download Charity Miles before the local Turkey Trot to make the most of your mileage and multiply the donations raised.

Native Land
The picture of Thanksgiving has taken on a more honest and fair depiction in recognizing its beginning. It’s a holiday with a history that isn’t widely known in much detail. Bring new knowledge to the table by downloading the Native Land app. Run by a Canadian non-profit, the Native Land app identifies the land of Indigenous nations so that users can learn which tribes occupied what areas before European settlers arrived. Users can discover which Indigenous nations lived in their city as well as information about the tribe, what languages were spoken, and which treaties took place. The map is color-coded and ever-changing, as the developers continue to add new information as it is learned. Although this app isn’t meant for financial support, it encourages a different kind of support. Native Land is a reminder and a tool that directly acknowledges a connection to native history and native lives on a day that is typically misrepresented as a ubiquitously celebrated holiday. Find out more about where you live as a way to support Native people who want their history acknowledged.