The Well

The Gift of Giving (Repost)

by Andrew Shaw on Dec.20, 2010, under Recent Posts

Sometimes the best thing you can do for yourself is to get outside of yourself, by giving and helping others.  Not only are you doing your small part to make the world a better place, but studies have also shown how altruism immensely benefits the well-being of the giver as well. This is a great time of the year to give, as that is what the Holiday Spirit is truly about, sharing love and compassion.  There are countless charities and organizations that depend on the support of the community to keep their doors open.  Consider donating a few dollars to a homeless shelter.  Buy a bag of groceries and take it to your local food pantry.  Join your community school or church as they usually organize a charitable campaign.  Donate a toy to Toys for Tots.  Go through your closet and put together a box of items for the Salvation Army.  If you’d like to donate to a charity, but you’re unsure where to start, check-out http://www.networkforgood.org/

Not everyone can write a check to their favorite charity, but that doesn’t mean you can’t lend a helping hand. These days, there is an increasing number of ways you can pitch in, offering your time rather than money, and the value of your service is priceless.  Consider volunteering at a homeless shelter, a hospital, a school, or another non-profit.  Sign-up to become a “Big Brother” or “Big Sister”.  Organize a canned drive.  Make a visit to a senior home and listen to a person’s story.  Be a good friend to someone in need.  Check-out http://www.serve.gov/ or http://www.volunteermatch.org/ to find volunteer opportunities in your community!        

Finally, it doesn’t take much to make a difference in someone’s life.  Even a simple small act of kindness can make a person’s day.  If you don’t have money or time to give, just offering your love and compassion to others is a wonderful gift.  You can start your day with the conscious intention to do good, to wish others well, to treat all human beings the way you would want to be treated.  And remind yourself throughout the day, and throughout this Holiday Season, to give the gift of kindness; a smile, words of encouragement, a listening ear, a helping hand, or a loving hug.

Be Well


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