LESSONS TO LIVE BY It is one of the most beautiful compensations of this life that no man can sincerely try to help another without being helped himself. — Ralph Waldo Emerson
Hello <<First Name>>, October 16 is World Food Day! Hunger activists across the country worked hard during September’s Hunger Action Month to raise awareness about and money to fight hunger. On World Food Day people around the world will come together to declare their commitment to eliminate hunger during our lifetime. “Because when it comes to hunger, the only acceptable number in the world is zero.” (from worldfooddayusa.org/what-is-wfd)
Usually when people think about helping a cause like this, they think about donating food or money. Donations are great and do much good for many people! A $25 donation can feed a family of four for a week. If you have already made a donation, but want to do more to help, here are some simple things you can do.
Host a World Food Day Meal. Raise awareness by inviting friends and family over for a meal on World Food Day to get people talking about the issue of food insecurity and hunger.
Talk to people in your daily life about the issue. Lots of people don’t know that hunger is everywhere - including their own backyard. They don't realize that their neighbor or colleague might be struggling with food-insecurity.
Provide unique entertainment for your guests with an All-Broadway concert in your home during the upcoming holidays. For more information, email me at email@example.com.
48.1 million people live in food insecure households, according to data released by the USDA in September. The data also indicates that food insecurity rates have not declined since the previous year.*
*Info from Atlanta Community Food Bank 5 Reasons Giving is Good for You* We all understand that donating to our favorite cause is helpful to the people in need. But did you know that it is actually good for you, the giver, too? Here are 5 reasons giving is good for you.
1. Giving brings us closer to creating the kind of world we want to live in Donating to causes we chose because of the work they do, the people they help, and the values they promote is a way each of us can extend our reach to the larger community and play a part in creating the kind of world we want to live in.
Generosity contributes to the greater good and creates more success in the long run than selfishness, according to a University of Pennsylvania study by Alexander Stewart and Joshua Plotkin. Researchers found that in a strategic game involving multiple people, “generous strategies, in which players favor cooperation and even allow their opponents to maintain higher payoffs, found great success.”
2. Giving increases happiness Harvard Business School professor Michael Norton and two colleagues from the University of British Columbia, Lara Aknin and Elizabeth Dunn, found similar results in three different studies: giving money to someone else (even as little as $5) increased participants’ happiness more than spending it on themselves.
And, it turns out that the good feelings that come from giving are reflected in our biology. In a 2006 study, Jorge Moll and colleagues at the National Institutes of Health found that giving to charities activates regions of the brain associated with pleasure, social connection, and trust. Scientists also believe that when people contribute to the lives of people around them, it releases endorphins in the brain, producing a warm, positive feeling sometimes called the “helper’s high.”
3. Giving is good for our health Numerous studies link generosity to better health. In his book, Why Good Things Happen to Good People, Stephen Post reports that giving to others has been shown to increase health benefits in people with chronic illness, including HIV and multiple sclerosis.
Giving can lower stress and help people live longer. In Liz Dunn’s study research about how cortisol (sometimes called the stress hormone) levels are affected by giving, she found that cortisol levels were higher in subjects who kept more money for themselves than in participants who gave more of their money away. Furthermore, according to Post, active involvement in giving activities seems to give people a longer life.
4. Giving promotes cooperation and social connection Several studies, including work by sociologists Robb Willer and Brent Simpson, suggest that when you give to others, that generosity is likely to be rewarded by others — sometimes by recipient and sometimes by someone else. In her book The How of Happiness, UC Riverside professor Sonja Lyubomirsky writes, “Being kind and generous leads you to perceive others more positively and more charitably,” and that this “fosters a heightened sense of interdependence and cooperation in your social community.” And, according to research to be published in the International Journal of Happiness and Development, people feel happiest when giving to a charity via a friend, relative, or social connection instead of making an anonymous donation.
5. Donations to charitable organizations are tax deductible You probably already know this, but it can be of great benefit. Donations to qualified organizations might can lower your tax bill! *Note: the rules for deducting charitable contributions are complex, so please speak with a qualified tax preparer for advice.