Give to Feel Better

 – By

For the last two weeks, I have been participating in the South Dakota Nonprofit Capacity Building Program. This credentialed professional development opportunity is a 15-month training program that involves: 1) Four fundraising courses taught by faculty from The Fundraising School at Indiana University 2) Attainment of CFRE credentials 3) Activities with a statewide cohort of South Dakota fundraising professionals.

So what does this class have to do with Economic Development? On Hand Development is a nonprofit 501c6 that typically writes grants for different projects. We also raise funds for the Miller Community Center and help connect other non-profits to partners and grants for projects.

Very early in the class I learned something that I won’t forget. In a nutshell, giving to charity makes us happier and healthier. Whether we have a little or lot of money, how we choose to spend it matters most to our happiness. The same is true with our time. Volunteering at a charity will do wonders for your emotional well-being.

But did you know that the warm and fuzzy feeling you get from helping others is actually good for your health? I learned that by helping others, whether we volunteer for organizations, offer emotional support to those around us or donate to charities is actually good for us.

Studies show that giving can actually boost your mental and physical health. The health benefits with giving include; lower blood pressure, increased self-esteem, less depression, lower stress levels, longer life, and greater happiness and satisfaction. I thought this was a message I could spread in my community because we could all use a little less stress, greater happiness and those fuzzy, warm feelings.

I understand we can’t give money to every cause or donate our time to everything. I also understand that not everyone has the money but ANYONE can donate time. It might be 15 minutes a week. It might a Facebook page spreading the message to your friends. It might be asking if they need a new board member. Think of your favorite nonprofit in Hand County… A church, school, or club, what do they need? YOUR TIME! Your leadership. Your ideas. Your work ethic.

Hand County has a ton of wonderful causes and nonprofits to donate money and time to every year. If you need help finding that cause, please let me know and I will help you feel better by giving. 

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