The holiday season always brings a touch of generosity to the air, something that retailers are always quick to cash in on. But amidst their gift-shopping and office parties, more and more people are also looking for efficient charities to put their time and money in. The end of the year is a great time to engage in charity work and make donations, especially for poor, war-torn, or disaster-weary communities where a helping hand is always welcome.
There are several good sides to donating to charity, the least of which is that it is tax-deductible in most areas. But for most people, it’s about much more than the tax break. Donating one’s time and energy is a two-way system: making other people happy brings rewards that are greater than any monetary gain or material gift. Here are some reasons why some people tirelessly help and donate—and why you should do the same.
For most people, the mere act of helping others—whether directly or through a small donation—does wonders for their sense of well-being. There is no better feel-good medicine than knowing you have made a positive difference in someone’s life, no matter how small. It spurs them into action to do something more. It can be as small as a quick picker-upper to get through a bad day, or a renewed sense of satisfaction and purpose.
As people donate more or volunteer, they can get quite involved in the cause. You may find yourself researching the cause and educating yourself about the larger social issues surrounding it. It all comes from the sense of purpose mentioned above. Having a cause you feel strongly about is a great motivator, whether it merely helps you get up in the morning or sets you on a more satisfying career path. In any case, it puts you in a better position to help even more.
An often-cited benefit to volunteering is social interaction. Giving your free time to a charity lets you spend time with people who share your interests, people who can either teach you or learn from you. This give-and-take setup makes for a strong community and a better environment than any corporate setting can provide. It also motivates you to keep coming back and urge other people to join in.
Of course, it all starts with finding a worthy cause. This is a personal choice, but you can get started by doing a quick internet search for efficient charities in your area. Starting local will allow you to work more closely with the charity and get to know it better. As with a lot of new endeavors, only that first step is hard to take—once you’ve done it, you’ll want to keep giving!