While most people spend their Thanksgiving feasting on turkey and mashed potatoes with family and waiting in lines in front of shopping malls, junior Siddharth Jain and his family decide to spend the day giving back to the community. “Usually Thanksgiving is about what you have, but our family is more of what don’t other people have,” Jain said.
He usually volunteers at the Veterans Hospital because he has a badge, and his family serves at the food bank or the local temple. Once, Jain had a 24-hour volunteer shift at a food bank—a tiring yet enjoyable experience. “While we have enough, we want to help other people who don’t have all that we have, and this is a way of giving back to the community,” he said.
Jain recommends volunteering on Thanksgiving to other people because it broadens one’s mind and helps others. “I was [volunteering] in San Jose, which is not as affluent as Palo Alto,” he said. “I was able to see how members of the working class carried on their daily lives, and it’s really helpful to get another point of view.” This tradition started when his family moved to California in 2000 because they thought they had enough and that it was time to give to the community. “I think of [Thanksgiving] as a day where I can forget about my own needs and worry about others,” Jain said.