We implemented our own little Christmas tradition some years ago when we decided to join the Robinhood Foundation’s Bless a Granny and Grandpa initiative. Every year we ask the residents of the MOTH cottages in Umbilo to let us know what they want for Christmas, and then we do our best to make their wishes come true.
It feels great to be part of something that brightens up someone’s day! But did you know that there is more to giving than just making other people happy? Volunteering time or money to helping others not only helps them, it has also been proven by science that every act of giving back makes you happier and healthier. Here are some of the benefits of doing good:
- It helps you live longer
Research has shown that volunteer activities improve health in the way that can increase the length of your lifespan. Volunteers manage stress better and show lower rates of depression. It also alleviates loneliness.
- It makes you happy
A team of social scientists tracked 2,000 people over a period of five years and discovered that the people who professed to be ‘very happy’ volunteered at least 5.8 hours per month.
- It lowers blood pressure
Cutting back on red meat and dealing with stress is part of dealing with high blood pressure. But it can also be alleviated by volunteering. Research showed that volunteering for around 200 hours a year can decrease the risk of hypertension by a whopping 40%!
Winston Churchill once said, “We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” Through giving we not only enrich the lives of others, but also our lives.