During the holidays of Thanksgiving and Christmas, giving is at the forefront of most people’s thinking. Between commercials encouraging us to give to various charities or causes, bell ringers in front of grocery stores, and perhaps your own personal decision to volunteer at a soup kitchen, giving is heavily emphasized during this one-month period of time. If giving is so important, then why is it barely mentioned the rest of the year? Continue reading to learn why giving matters, and come visit St. John Baptist Church in Columbia to learn about the ways we give back to our community.
When we give to others, whether it is time, money, or another tangible item, we actually stimulate the part of our brains that registers pleasure, social connection, and trust — that warm glow everyone wants. In fact, a study that was done in 2008 showed that participants felt happier when they gave money to someone else, instead of spending it on themselves.
Another study showed that people who gave of their time or resources to help others actually decreased their risk of dying over the same time period as those who didn’t. Researchers believe this suggests that giving is linked to a decrease in stress, which is a known cause of many health issues.
Many people have said that they give because of a strong sense of their moral duty to help those around them. The ability to have a positive impact on the lives of others is a privilege that actually creates its own sense of obligation. The more you give, the more you want to give because you see how important it is to those who are on the receiving end. In fact, your commitment to giving will have an impact on those around you, which leads to our next point.
Our children learn the most from the observations they make. When you set the example that giving is important to you and your family through your actions, they will naturally pick up on this and try to imitate it in their own lives. While they won’t be able to give in the same ways in which you do, you will be amazed at the creative methods they use to show generosity to others.
Whether you donate money to a specific charity each year, volunteer at the local homeless shelter, or volunteer to build houses, you probably are well aware of how thankful you are for what you have. There is nothing quite like traveling to a poorer location, whether local or international, to discover how much you truly have. Many people find that when they return to their daily lives, they are overwhelmed with gratitude for all that they have in this life.
If you haven’t already made a commitment to giving in your life, then consider making that a priority this year. It’s never too late to make a change, especially one that will have such a powerful impact on the lives of others. Contact St. John Baptist Church in Columbia and let us help you find the perfect way to give.