Giving Tuesday kicks off the charitable season. Since it's first year, in 2012, Giving Tuesday has become a movement that celebrates, and supports, philanthropy...from the biggest to to smallest acts. Giving Tuesday was created by the team at Belfer Center for Innovation & Social Impact, at the 92nd street Y....a social group that has been bringing people of diverse cultures together around the values of service and giving back, since 1874! Together, these individuals, along with communities and other social groups from around the world, celebrate and encourage giving. These influencers have joined forces with the founding partners and collaborated across many sectors offering expertise and working diligently to launch Giving Tuesday. They continue to shape, grow, and strengthen the movement.
I've written extensively about how giving has a profound impact not only on the recipient, but on the giver, as well. Volunteerism and giving back makes us happy and improves both our mental and physical well-being. Here are 5 of the most ways that giving helps us"
1. Giving makes us feel happy. Sure, getting a gift is pretty swell, but giving to others can actually make us feel better.
2. Giving is good for our health. Giving to others has been shown to benefit people with chronic illness. Giving back helps elderly people live longer. Giving decreases stress and lowers blood pressure.
3. Giving promotes cooperation and social connection. When you give, you're more likely to get back in your time of need. The giving/receiving exchange promotes trust and cooperation which, in turns, strengths our ties to others...we feel more included in our "tribe."
4. Giving evokes gratitude. When you give, you become more aware of all that you have. Gratitude for the all the things we have makes us want to give back...it's a very lovely cycle that only continues to grow and get bigger. Cultivating gratitude for all the things we have in our everyday lives, increases our sense of happiness and well-being. You not only boost your own positivity, but bolster it in others. Definitely a win-win situation!
5. Giving is contagious. Unlike the flu, giving is contagious is the very best way possible. People and, dare I say frogs, want to catch it! We we see others giving back, it spurs us to do the same. Each person in their own network can positively influence dozens of others, some of whom you may not know or have ever even met! How cool is that?
The easiest way to celebrate this most joyous season is by setting aside a little time to volunteer at one of your favorite charities. If you can, make donations. Even the smallest amount is appreciated and will go towards helping the elderly, disabled, children, the disadvantaged, and even the animals have a better life. So, pick your organization and contact them today. All you need do is ask how you can be of service! They'll be happy to hear from you and you'll feel happier for simply making the call.
And use #GivingTuesday in your all your social media interactions. Please help get he word out!