Today is Giving Tuesday, a day to do some good for your community. It turns out, though, that being charitable is actually good for you as well! Research has shown that doing good for others can make you feel better. Here are some positive benefits for being charitable:
1) You Feel Better
Have you ever given a gift to someone and felt a warm fuzzy feeling? It turns out that this feel-good feeling is more than just an emotional response to doing something charitable. Whenever you give a gift or do something generous, your brain releases endorphins. Endorphins are responsible for making you feel calm, at peace, and satisfied. Endorphins also help reduce your stress levels, which is a major contribution to a variety of health maladies, like cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, obesity, and more. Next time you give a gift, realize that you’re getting the gift of better health at the same time!
2) Set a Good Example for your Children
Children learn through imitation, so if your child sees you doing something good in the community, they will be more likely to be charitable throughout their lives. You can also encourage your child to be charitable earlier in life by getting them involved in volunteerism. Remember: donating time is just as important as money in a lot of cases!
3) Strengthens the Community
Everyone goes through hard times, and helping out your neighbor, even if you don’t know them, strengthens the entire community. Regardless if you know the person you’re helping or not, helping out is always the right thing to do. You never know when hardship might happen to you, so strengthening your community and encouraging others to be charitable can help you out in the end if you ever need assistance.
4) Tax Deduction
Let’s not forget that most charitable giving is a tax deduction! When you donate to nonprofit organizations and charitable groups, you can write that money off on your taxes. If you are donating time in volunteering, you can sometimes also write off related expenses, like parking, gas, and money spent (so long as you are not reimbursed by the organization). Talk to a tax expert for all of the details.
There are a number of ways that you can be a positive force in your community this Giving Tuesday. Here are just a few ideas:
· Donate money
Find a cause that is exciting to you and donate money. If you feel concerned about what organizations do with that money, do some research. You can also use resources like CharityNavigator.org, which evaluates organizations and details how money is spent.
· Donate time
Especially around the holidays, organizations are looking for volunteers. Many large organizations have local chapters that welcome volunteers. Again, it’s all about finding a cause that you’re passionate about and clearing a little bit of time on your weekends or evenings!
· Donate blood
Donating blood often gets overlooked. When disasters happen, you will often hear about blood shortages along with requests for donors. The best time to donate is actually before a disaster, so if you are a healthy individual, consider donating blood and save a life!
Giving Tuesday is a great time to reflect on things that are really important. Be a positive force in your community and give back to the people around you!