6 Benefits to Giving to Charity

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Do you like giving to charity? If you do, you are not alone. In 2007, people gave about $5.8 billion in clothes to charities in the United States. That is in addition to all of the money and other goods Americans donate every year. Maybe you donate because you have needed help from others and want to give back, Maybe you were taught the importance of making charitable donations. Maybe you just feel good when you make a charitable donation. Whatever your reason may be or no matter how you donate, if you bring your donations in or schedule a charity pick up, giving to others is good for you.

The Benefits of Donating to Charity:

  1. Giving to charities is good for your health. There is a lot of research that shows when people donate to charity, whether is through a charity pick up, when they drop goods off or just make a monetary donation, it improves people’s health. Generosity has shown to help people who suffer from a number of chronic conditions such as heart disease, Diabetes, HIV and multiple sclerosis. Stephen Post, a professor of preventative medicine at Stony Brook University wrote about this phenomenon in his book, “Why Good Things Happen to Good People.” Many scientists now believe volunteering and donating to charity helps people’s overall health by reducing their stress levels.
  2. Giving to others makes you feel good. This has been called the “helper’s high.” The National Institutes of Health has found that donating to charity does more than just help the people who need the clothing donations, the act of helping others activates the parts of the brain that are associated with pleasure. Researcher have hypothesized that the “warm glow” people feel after doing something good for someone else leads to the release of endorphins, which contribute to the good feelings. Giving has also been linked to the release of oxytocin, the hormone that is released during sex and breast feeding. This hormone causes people to feel euphoria, warmth and connectivity.
  3. Donating time, goods or money encourages others to give. People are greatly influenced by the people around them. When people see people making donations or they see a charity pick up goods and clothing, they are more likely to follow suit and do the same thing. This could be because people do not think about donating until they see others doing it or if people do not realize the things they have at home that they do not use anymore can help others, when we donate, we encourage other people to donate. Research done at the University of California at San Diego backs this up. They found that one act of generosity can leads to dozens of similar acts by other people.
  4. Doing good things for others strengthens social bonds. People who give tend to get more back. The people who make donations to charity we strengthen the bond we have with other people. People feel more connected to their community when they donate. Multiple scientific studies show that when people are generous, that generosity is given back to them at some point down the road. The book, “The How of Happiness” says that giving to others, andldquo;fosters a heightened sense of interdependence and cooperation in your social community.
  5. Giving to others makes everyone more thankful. This in an of itself leads people to leading more happy and fulfilling lives. Being thankful or expressing gratitude strengthens our bonds to each other. In her book, “Positivity” Barbara Fredrickson said, “And in the process you reinforce their kindness and strengthen your bond to one another.
  6. Donating to charity is good for the environment. Americans throw out about 12 million tons of clothing each year. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, nearly 75% of all solid waste in landfills is recyclable. If we donated the clothing we throw out we can help other people and help the environment at the same time.

We all understand that making donations to charity is a good thing to do. Maybe once a year, our work place schedules a charity pick up and organizes a food or clothing drive. We see what giving to charity does for other people but may not see how beneficial our generosity is to ourselves.

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