Oh, the satisfaction of christening that new toy! Holding your new Samsung Galaxy tablet; making that first phone call (or giving your first reminder to Siri) on your new iPhone 4S; booting off your new SSD and marveling at its speed: these are the moments that make us all feel like kids again. Around this time of year I am reminded of how fortunate I am to have these moments, and I give many thanks for that.

Then I think of those people who rarely, if ever, get to have these opportunities: Kids, adults, neighbors, and strangers who struggle to keep on their lights or keep food on the table. They cannot afford to splurge on the technology we have grown to expect. Yet that does not mean they want nor need it any less than we do.

So as you discover the cool tricks your new toys can do, take a minute to look around your house or office. If you are like me, there are probably old phones, game systems, computers, VCRs, DVD players, etc., just collecting dust and taking up valuable real estate. Some of the less-fortunate people around this area would love to use that technology!

Several organizations in this area accept used equipment and repurpose it: the United Way and the Kramden Institute, to name a couple of them. A good resource on the Web is Givmo, with a page for resources in Raleigh.

Before you slice into that beautiful turkey or peel back the golden foil on your Honey Baked Ham tomorrow, give thanks for everything hard work, great friends and family, and good fortune have afforded you. Then stuff yourself and sit back after dinner (probably in a food coma) and enjoy those new toys. But make certain you reserve some time this weekend to gather your unused equipment so you can donate it to the needy. The feeling of gratitude you feel this Thanksgiving will pale in comparison to the feelings of gratitude those lucky recipients will feel after getting their “new” toys.