You’ve all probably seen some of the challenges on social media where someone posts something they are thankful for each of the 30 days leading up to Thanksgiving.

While this is a great practice, what if we tried something a little different ... say, a 365-day giving challenge?

It may take a little creativity, and a bit of thinking outside of the box, but if you really take a step back and focus on what you have, as opposed to what you don’t have, it might come a little easier than you think.

Even during the Advent season, with technology and social media and all kinds of distractions, it gets easy to fall into the trend of comparing your journey with others.

As humans, it’s something we can’t avoid. But it is something we can be more aware of and make mental adjustments.

One way to do this is to get outside of your bubble, give back and see life from a different perspective. In Cooke County, there are numerous organizations that are often in need of volunteers.

Enjoy working with kids? Check out North Texas CASA, which uses advocates to help abused and neglected children in the court system, or the Boys and Girls Clubs of Cooke County, which helps area children succeed in school, develop healthy lifestyles and build good character and civic habits.

Want to help those less fortunate? Volunteers In Service To Others, or VISTO, contributes during the holidays to provide Christmas meals to families in need, and their food pantry helps residents year-round.

Have a heart for families preparing to bury a loved one? Home Hospice of Cooke County volunteers help such families much like a good friend or neighbor would, as well as providing delivering flower arrangements, food and followup in the wake of a loss.

My Brother’s House in Muenster is another nonprofit that helps men overcome drug and alcohol addiction. ABBA Women’s Center provides support and resources for families and expecting parents through its pregnancy center and parenting classes. Abigail’s Arms Cooke County Family Crisis Center provides confidential assistance and support to those experiencing family or sexual violence.

Print space won’t allow us to list all of the nonprofit opportunities available in the community, but a quick Google search for “nonprofits near me” will give you all the information you need to know and more.

If you don’t feel ready to commit to that stage, check out your local church, school or the library for volunteer opportunities. And don’t overthink it — even a check to the Cooke County United Way or a drop of coins into a Salvation Army bucket at your local grocery store can make a difference. Not volunteering doesn’t make you a bad person.

But whatever you do, or don’t do, just remember that there is always, always something to be grateful for.

We wish you and your families a safe and happy Advent season!

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