Recently, I was part of a phone survey and got asked “Why do you donate to charities?” I responded with “I think it’s our obligation as humans.” The woman on the phone clearly seemed thrown off by the question and said, “wow, that’s amazing.” Since then, the concept of giving and donating has been on my mind and with today’s Giving Tuesday, I’ve been thinking about this even more.
I have always felt that giving should be a natural part of our everyday life. I do not think that means just writing a check or more likely, these days, submitting credit card information online. I view giving as doing good for others. Giving can be picking up trash in your neighborhood, donating your time and skills to a school or other nonprofit, or checking in on an elderly neighbor who lives alone. Giving means giving what you can give, whether that be money, time, or extra care.
Giving sometimes hurts. If we give extra money that we may have been able to use for something fun or special, then it can hurt. Spending time with someone in need means that we spend less time with our loved ones or miss time alone.
But volunteering and donating has amazing benefits for you personally as well. It connects you to new people and new experiences. Volunteering also has health benefits–counteracting effects of stress, depression, anxiety, and anger, and helps keep you physically healthy as well. I can tell you from personal experience that the experience and knowledge that you have helped someone is beyond words. It is so amazing to know that you have had an impact on someone’s life.
So today on this Giving Tuesday and every day, let’s fulfill our duties as humans and give back in whatever way we can.
This post is written by our Executive Direcctor and co-founder, as well as proud mom of Colette, Michelle Valiukenas. In addition to the countless hours she works on the foundation, she also volunteers with the Skokie Public Library and serves on the Northfield Township Human Services Committee. She also loves spending time with her husband and their dog Nemo, and with friends and family. She enjoys knitting, reading, and binge watching TV shows.