Most people want to give back to their community and the world at large, but they don’t always know how to do it effectively. Even if you aren’t a fan of donating money directly, there are other ways you can benefit others through your charitable efforts. Use these tips to discover why giving to charities is important and learn how you can help those in need by volunteering your time and/or making donations.
It feels good
When was the last time you donated clothes, old appliances, or food and covered shipping costs if your donation will wind up overseas? These random acts of kindness make many people feel good about themselves. There’s some science behind it, too. Studies have shown that giving can activate regions in your brain linked with pleasure and self-worth. It also releases dopamine—the neurotransmitter associated with reward, motivation, and addiction—which makes you feel physically and emotionally good. It helps others: We all know someone who could use a helping hand—whether they need help paying medical bills or just need someone to listen. Asking for donations is one way charities can help people in need. It makes you more attractive: If you donate money regularly, it can boost your appeal as a potential partner because altruism is attractive (and so are those who display altruistic behavior). So go ahead—be generous! Your partner will appreciate it!
It helps you connect with others
There are numerous reasons why giving back is important, and one of them, in particular, is that it helps you connect with others. Through charity work, you’ll learn how much you have in common with your peers, which will make you want to spend more time around them. Not only does charity work help us better understand others, but it also brings us closer together. Donating money or volunteering your time not only helps those less fortunate than yourself but also helps us feel good about ourselves as we grow in our self-awareness. Charity work doesn’t just help those who receive donations—it can also benefit those donating by helping them deepen their sense of community and belonging.
Volunteering doesn’t have to cost anything
Volunteering can take many forms, whether organizing food drives or working in shelters. Many volunteering opportunities are completely free, like volunteering with schools and community organizations. Volunteering is a great way to build connections and make a difference if you want to give back but can’t afford it. Volunteering doesn’t have to be a time-consuming commitment either—even something as simple as writing letters for a charity that takes care of children overseas could make all the difference in their lives. Volunteering truly does matter, and if you don’t think so now, there will be a time when your life will impact someone else’s that you will wonder why you have not done it sooner.
Donating time pays off
Volunteering your time is one way you can help make a difference in your community. This can have a huge impact on your self-esteem as well. Spending some time helping others gives you a chance to see what it feels like to be selfless and offer support without expecting anything in return. While volunteering, you may learn more about how you want to contribute professionally, which could lead to a long-term career or career change that benefits both you and those around you. In addition, research shows people who volunteer are healthier overall than those who don’t volunteer. –MM
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