The Importance of Giving

As we approach Thanksgiving, it’s the perfect time to not only give thanks for everything you have, but to think about giving back.

The United States Census Bureau estimated in 2015 that over 43 million Americans were living in poverty. And when you look further afield, the numbers are even more shocking. According to dosomething.org, more than 3 billion people – half of the world’s population – live on less than $2.50 a day, and more than 1.3 billion live in extreme poverty at less than $1.25 per day.

That’s a lot of people surviving on a whole lot less than we’re lucky to have. What better way to show gratitude for everything you have than giving to those who need it most?

WHY IT’S IMPORTANT

For many of the most needy in our communities, and indeed the world, charities are not just a helping hand – they are a lifeline. Without the assistance of charities, from small nonprofits through to large-scale organizations, many of our fellow humans simply wouldn’t make it. The same goes for animals and the environment. The destruction of entire species and habitats would become more prevalent without the intervention of the many nonprofits fighting to save them.

Put simply, without the donations of people like you, these people, animals and ecosystems would die.

There are charities working to improve the quality of life for many across the planet, from the simple act of supplying clean water to building livelihoods and providing education, or in the case of animals, providing shelter, food and adoption services. It seems like there’s no end to the good that is waiting to be done across the world, and there truly isn’t. Whatever the cause, there are so many worthy charities out there that need your help.

THE BENEFITS FOR YOU

When you carefully choose the right charity to support, you are always apprised of the outcomes for the beneficiaries. But you might be surprised to learn that the recipients aren’t the only ones that benefit from your charitable giving. Some of the best rewards are often enjoyed by the person who does the giving. Here are just a few of the ways that donating can have a positive effect on your personal life.

You’ll Be Happier

According to a study conducted by researchers at the University of Oregon, donating money makes you feel happier. The study utilized functional magnetic resonance imaging to study the activity of specific regions in the brain to see what happened when participants chose to donate   money. Each participant was given $100, and those who donated a portion of the money they received experienced activated pleasure centers in the brain – just like the activation seen when receiving money. So, giving money can have the same positive effect on your mood as getting it.

Then there’s the happiness that comes from connectivity to your family and community, especially if you give to a cause that has affected you or your loved ones. The positive feelings associated with connectedness and doing something to help those you love can have a very powerful effect on your personal life and outlook. 

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