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There are so many things I am thankful for. I have a roof over my head, healthy children, food to eat, readers like you who read blogs like mine, a supportive husband, and so much more. It’s nice to reflect on the things we are blessed with and I tend to do it often. Many times we miss the point of Thanksgiving and go straight to the yummy foods and the huge deals during Black Friday. Don’t get me wrong, I look forward to our Thanksgiving feast and I am a sucker for Black Friday shopping, but that isn’t what this Holiday is all about.

Thanksgiving should be about two things: thankfulness and giving back. Being thankful for the things you are blessed with and giving back to those who are less fortunate. This year I wanted to teach my kids to always give back when they can. With the help of Toyota we were able to give a lot back to those in need.

What Thanksgiving is All About

Wondering where we should donate to, my son came home earlier this month letting me know about their Canned Food Drive at school. This was the perfect opportunity for us to get involved with the school, show my son a great way we could give back, and help those in need. Canned Food Drives are always a great idea as the donated cans can either go to local shelters or sent to countries that may be in need after a horrific occurrence.

With a budget of $100, we headed to our local Target to check out the deals. We wanted to make sure our $100 was stretched as much as we could get it. Luckily Target was having an incredible sale on canned food and we were able to get some vegetables and fruits for as little as $0.60 each.

Canned Food

My kids and I loaded up our shopping cart with a mixture of cans. From fruits, vegetables, raviolis, soups and more. We wanted to make sure we covered all areas and that we donated a variety so the shelters had more to work with.

Shopping for Cans

As our cashier was checking out I overheard my son talking to the person behind us telling her that we were helping those in need by buying all the cans Target had on their shelves. While we didn’t buy all the cans, it was a very humbling moment to hear the excitement in my son’s voice over the good deed we were doing. He truly understood why we were doing what we were doing.


Seven full bags and a box full later, we loaded up the items into our Toyota Sienna. I will tell you that it’s moments like this when your hands are full that I am indeed thankful to have a trunk opener button on my key. I had my son push the button and the trunk opened for us to make transferring these bags a lot easier. My trunk was already packed with items from a previous Lake Tahoe camping trip and in a normal car there wouldn’t have been room for all these bags, let alone a box. However that wasn’t the case in the Toyota Sienna, the space in the trunk is so unreal and I am very grateful for having it during this canned food trip.


The next morning we pulled up to the school and started unloading the bags and boxes. We took trips from the car to the school and back and again, that button on the key that opens and closes the trunk made my life so much easier! We were able to unload the items quickly and brought them to his classroom. The teacher’s eyes lit up as she saw the amount of cans and couldn’t stop thanking us. My son walked into his classroom so proudly as all the kids in his class gave him high fives.

Thank you to Toyota for proving me with the $100 on a gift card that allowed me to show my children the  value of giving back.


Disclosure: I am participating in a 3 month series with Toyota. A gift card has been provided to cover my expenses, however opinions are all mine.