I read an article recently that provided five ways the act of giving or volunteering is good for the health and well-being of the giver. All five reasons were backed by studies that showed a higher degree of happiness and joy, an increased life span, and better social connectedness with those who give. The positive benefits of giving are:
- Giving makes us feel happy
- Giving is good for our health
- Giving promotes cooperation and social connection
- Giving evokes gratitude
- Giving is contagious
I have served as the leader of non-profit schools for what is now 16 years and one of the benefits that has come my way by being reliant upon the generosity of others is that I have witnessed the truth of these five benefits. Though I see in society that money does not buy happiness, I have met some very wealthy individuals who are the most joy filled individuals I know. What is different about these particular wealthy folk? They know that giving away a good portion of their wealth to a worthy cause is life-giving…and even fun. I know people in our school who volunteer in order to make Calvary not just a good school, but an amazing school. Giving takes many different forms, but the outcome is almost always the same; joy, connectedness, and gratefulness in the giver.
One of the other things I have learned comes from my experience as the receiver of the gift of generosity is what it means to be grateful. Gratitude is really the act of acknowledging that the giver has been a vessel of blessing used by God to meet a need. Because of the generosity of others, I have seen the hand of God working through others in ways that are awe inspiring.
We want to be a community of givers and one of deep gratitude. Over the years we have encouraged our students by asking them to record their community service. Our goal in this is not to have them boast in their work, but rather, to celebrate how God works through their service. As we enter into a season which traditionally has many opportunities for serving others, I encourage you to look for ways for your family to serve together. We want to celebrate the goodness and joy of serving together, and we believe the best way to teach our children is through our own example!
“Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” – Matthew 5:16
-Dr. Troy Wathen