UNITED STATES—With Thanksgiving just a few days away, many of us are probably beginning preparation for the big family feast and the abundance of food that we will consume on turkey day.  Sometimes we become so overwhelmed with the holiday season we completely forget the fact that there are so many out there with little to nothing.

Mother Nature can be a wicked force, and unfortunately she has struck again this time in the form of a category five typhoon that has ravaged thePhilippines.  More than 2,000 people are confirmed dead, but reports indicate it can be thousands more in the aftermath of this horrific weather maker. Millions have been displaced from their home, without food, water or basic essentials needed for day to day survival.

To hear such news, shook me to the core and I keep asking myself what can I do? There are tons of things that we all can do in this time of need where this developing country will indeed need our assistance. As Americans, we have united in times of need before like the 2004 tsunami and the 2010 earthquake that struck Haiti.

The Red Cross is currently asking for donations to assist those in thePhilippines who will be in the need of help to recover from this catastrophe. The biggest mistake that so many of us make as Americans is thinking we don’t have anything to give. Whatever you can give please give.  This is an opportunity for us to share what we can give to those who are in desperate need. Many in the Filipino community are holding fundraisers and taking donations for any items that can be sent to the Philippines.  Clothing, blankets, water, food, basic needs are heavily needed for survivors.

They are in a fight for survival and any type of assistance given will go a long way. It is times like this that really define America as a nation; one willing to lend a helping hand when needed and its people bonding with one another to ensure the survival, rehabilitation and redevelopment of a county that has literally been wiped away by a force of nature.

This brings me back to the upcoming holiday season where we become so consumed with gift giving and overindulging without taking a second to truly be thankful for the things that we have.  At any given second, all can be taken away from us without a second glance. This Thanksgiving, think of what you can do to lend a helping hand. It could be donating coats to ensure all children and adults are kept warm this winter or perhaps putting together a care basket for our troops enlisted in the military; there is something to be done to help.

Instead of spending turkey day with the family, you might decide to volunteer at a soup kitchen feeding those who might get their only meal on this special day so many of us take for granted.  Simply put, a donation in monetary value or with time can do wonders for a variety of causes.

Time and time again we hear the saying that one person cannot change the world; well guess what, that is something I do not believe.  We all have the power to implement change; it’s just a question of whether or not we’re willing to do so.