Gotta Give It

Community

How was your Thanksgiving ? Did you have family fun, go shopping on Black Friday or both? While these holiday events are etched in our minds, many people may not know that the Tuesday following Turkey Day is known as Giving Tuesday.

This particular Tuesday is a day to remember that giving back to our communities keeps them strong, vibrant and accessible to all. YMCA of the Suncoast is grateful to participate in Giving Tuesday and to share some of the wonderful advantages of giving back:

You Feel Better: A decade ago, Harvard Business School researched the impact of spending money on yourself versus giving money to someone else. Contrary to what the study’s participants anticipated, giving money to others increased happiness more than spending money on themselves. Donating money is definitely a win-win for you and the person/organization you give to, but giving back also consists of in-kind gifts and volunteering. This means that people who don’t have a lot of f money can help others through gifts of time and compassion.

You Get Connected: One of the big advantages of giving back is that involves connecting with others who share similar interests or convictions. So, when you seek out opportunities to give back, you may find that you meet future friends who are sharing the experience with you. You may even make professional connections.

You Feel Grateful: Giving back breeds feelings of gratitude because you’re often helping others who are dealing with unique and difficult challenges. Gratitude has been shown to boost happiness, health and connections to others. And while you may already be practiced in the art of thankfulness, perhaps you know a teenager who could using a little coaching in appreciation. If so, help them find a teen volunteering program where they can learn about responsibility and gratitude.

You Get Healthier: One of the coolest benefits of volunteering is that it naturally improves your physical health. Studies indicate that mortality rates decrease for individuals who give back even when taking into consideration other factors such as diet, exercise, smoking, etc. Also, volunteering has been shown to improve the health of people with chronic health conditions. All good reasons to start giving back today!

Stop by your favorite YMCA of the Suncoast location to learn about opportunities to volunteer in your community this holiday season.