Impact your life and the lives of others
Last year, Americans donated more than $390 billion to charity. A significant amount of these donations are given in the latter half of the year, known as the holiday giving season. Approximately 1 in 4 Americans volunteer yearly, giving their time and energy to helping others. Research shows that, while they have been helping others, they have also been helping themselves and encouraging others to give as well. As we approach the season of giving this year, here are 4 reasons to give in some way this holiday season:
- Giving helps someone else
First and foremost, whether it’s monetary donations or volunteering your time, giving helps people in our communities. Donating a toy to a charity like Toys for Tots allows a less fortunate child to experience the joy of Christmas and volunteering at a food bank can help a family get the food they need to enjoy Thanksgiving with food on the table.
- Makes you happier
When we give of our time or our possessions we feel good and according to scientists, that is because we are hardwired to enjoy helping others. In a study published by the American Psychological Association, it was discovered that people who give to others are significantly happier than when they receive gifts. Other studies have confirmed this, stating that giving promotes social connection and trust and that it releases endorphins, activating the pleasure center of the brain.
- Makes you healthier
Donating our time or resources to others is also a way to live a longer and healthier life. Research has shown that giving to charity promotes both physical and mental health. Specifically, blood pressure, body mass index, and LDL cholesterol were lower in volunteers than in non-volunteers. These benefits relate to a lower risk of heart disease and strokes.
- Helping others is contagious
Seeing others do good things inspires others to do the same. As a whole, we modify our behaviors and make decisions based on what we see around us. When we see someone else use their time or other resources to help others we are instilled with the notion that we should do the same. Biologically, we know that it will make us happier, and socially, we know that it will help others and bring us all closer together. One person leading the way spurs us on to make the world a happier place.
This year, Nova Medical Centers has partnered with the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program to make every one of our locations a toy drop-off this holiday season. The Toys for Tots Program helps millions of children around the country experience the joy of Christmas each year through the gift of a new toy.