I know I’m preaching to the choir when I say we are so fortunate to live here in Southern California, as members of these vibrant, caring and generous communities that make up the Conejo Valley, Malibu, Pacific Palisades and the surrounding areas. Still, it’s worth acknowledging again—even if we already know how good we have it… and on that note, let’s remember to share our good fortune with others, especially those who could really use a helping hand—we’ve all been there at one time or another. Fortunately, whatever we need, be it a friendly smile, financial assistance or help with our children, the resources in our local communities are there for the asking.

From cancer support groups and housing agencies to youth organizations and senior programs, nonprofits staffed by selfless individuals aim to help those in need in so many ways. If you’re wondering how you can get involved, you’ve come to the right place, as this month of Thanksgiving and harvest provide the perfect time to lend a hand and give back to others.

In the words of John Rockefeller, “Think of giving not only as a duty but as a privilege.” We are indeed privileged to have so many opportunities to help—“Sharing Gratitude: 5 Ways to Give Back to the Community” (p. X) offers some suggestions. This month includes countless good causes to get involved with, making it easy to find the perfect way to give back: 

  • Do you like glitzy handbags and sparkly jewelry? Attend Big Brothers Big Sisters of Ventura County’s Bags, Bling & Bubbly champagne luncheon (Nov. 5).
  • Soup, salad and dessert please your palate? There’s Many Mansion’s Bowls of Hope event (Nov. 4).
  • Dinner and gifts? The Westlake Village Junior Women’s Club Annual Gingerbread Boutique (Nov. 8) has got you covered!
  • Enjoy viewing festively decorated homes? Check out the Cancer Support Community Valley/Ventura/Santa Barbara’s Holiday Homes Tour and Holiday Boutique (Dec 1-2).
  • Like wine? The Third Annual Conejo Uncorked Wine & Food Festival (Nov. 2) is a must.
  • Cycling enthusiast? Participate in the 10th Annual Mike Nosco Memorial Bike Ride (Nov. 3).

However you choose to give back, monthly columnist financial whiz Jeff Runyan reminds us (“Attitude & Gratitude,” p. X), “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35)—and there’s still time to make a charitable donation before year’s end!

Remember, every little bit helps, so “If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one” (thanks Mother Teresa!).

This Thanksgiving, take some time to reflect on your blessings and resolve to help someone, in some way, large or small—it feels so good—and it always seems to come back tenfold!


With Gratitude,