Blog Post #494 – Giving Back part II

Giving Back – Part II

Yesterday we talked about giving back.  Today, I’m going to look at the article which lists 12 ways to give back to the community

The article says:

Harvard Business School study confirmed that “happier people give more and giving makes people happier, such that happiness and giving may operate in a positive feedback loop (with happier people giving more, getting happier, and giving even more).”

“While cash is always accepted in groups serving the needy, time and effort is just as important, if not more so. Plus, giving of your time, energy, and effort provides you with immediate feedback as to what your contribution means to those receiving it.”

WOW – I can be happier if I give back (and if I am happier, then I will give more).  

So, the article’s 12 points:

  1. Give back to your family.  The article suggests that we especially care for our elderly – grandparents, and others.  My uncle George is 95 and his wife Fran is 96. I need to love and honor them. (By-the-way with George and Fran, cards and letters work better as their hearing over the phone is limited)
  2. Volunteer at your local school.  I am reading to and with two first grade students.  The research indicated that students who don’t learn to read by third grade are in trouble and might become problems for society (like drop-outs, open to drugs, gangs, and crime).  I am also a big brother/mentor for a middle school kid. It doesn’t take long. The reading is 15 minutes for each kid – or 30 minutes in total. I do it early in the day (9:00 to 9:30) and then I can get back to work.
  3. Organize a yard sale for charity.  I haven’t done that, but over the years i/we have donated thousands of dollars worth of clothes and more to charities.  (My bias is that the Salvation Army is a better choice than Goodwill – and the CEO of Goodwill makes good money – maybe not as much as the CEO of Citibank).
  4. Visit a senior center. In the past, I went to a senior center about once a month for my church.  I visited shut-ins and prayed with them. They were so happy to have visitors. (I also visited shut-ins in their homes too)
  5. Coach a local youth team.  I have done that in the past. I’ve also served as a Boy Scout leader and more.  Kids need good role models.
  6. Tutor a student.  I am currently tutoring five students.  For some of them, I get paid, but it is a great experience helping them out.
  7.  Fix and serve meals.  I have done ‘meals on wheels’ before – where I would take meals prepared at a site and distribute them to shut-ins. (And getting a good feeling as they are happy to get a good, hot, nutritious meal!!)
  8.  Serve on community boards.  I’m not doing that now, but I have been on many community boards in the past – from Boy Scouts to church boards, to boards of musical organizations.
  9. Become a docent.  This was not a familiar term to me.  The idea is to guide people through museums, art galleries, zoos, and other places. You need to know about the particular place to explain and answer questions.
  10. Be a good neighbor.  I currently am walking with a senior lady (who also had major heart surgery).  She appreciates the company (as do I)
  11.  Organize a food coop.  This is not anything I have done, although I/we do donate food (and money) to food coops/food banks.
  12.  Volunteer at a hospital.  Volunteers can do a lot to help patients at hospitals – from rolling wheelchairs to helping at the information booth, and even helping distribute food trays.  (And, if you will, behind the scenes you are saving the hospital money that would have been paid to staff to do those jobs and thus, “kind of” helping save some health care expenses.

These twelve items come from the article, but there are so many additional ways of giving back.  Be a good neighbor. As Fred Rogers used to say “It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood, a beautiful day for a neighbor; would you be mine, could you be mind”!!!

What do you think?



Posted by Bruce White

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