Year-End Gifts: It’s Better to Give than to Receive!

“It’s better to give than to receive.”

As we prepare to move into the holiday season, we’re going to hear this quote from the Christian scriptures (Acts 20:35) over and over again.  My great-nieces and great-nephews simply hate when they hear me say that as we’re opening our gifts around the Christmas tree! And I recall that I didn’t appreciate the full meaning of the phrase when I was a small child either.

The older I get, the more I realize the truth in that quote.

And, to make it even better, there are numerous scientific studies proving that giving does have a positive physiological impact on the human body.

I saved a clipping from a 2009 Oprah magazine (ok, I admit it, I read Oprah magazine!) that gave examples to show the impact giving has on our bodies. 

The article stated, “Simply contemplating generosity boosts your immunity. When Harvard students watched a film about Mother Teresa tending to orphans, the number of protective antibodies in their saliva surged; when the students were asked to focus on times when they’d been loved by or loving to others, their antibody levels stayed elevated for an hour. In another study, the brain’s pleasure centers lit up when people made check marks next to a list of organizations to which they wanted to donate.”

The Americans’ Changing Lives organization offers additional research showing that volunteerism and giving is good for an individual’s physical and mental health. There are many other studies that show giving helps lower rates of depression, lowers blood pressure, lowers rates of heart disease, and helps promote longer lifespans.

As we approach the last few weeks in our year, we should do all that we can to maximize year-end giving.

A simple reminder to people of all the advantages they receive is helpful – and it’s not just to help with tax deductions.  (Although that, too, is important – so here’s a good listing from Forbes magazine summarizing what donors should consider when making their year-end gifts.)

Yes, there is truth in the saying “it is better to give than to receive.”  It not only makes us feel good, it actually heals us as well.

May all of our organizations enjoy a prosperous 4th quarter!

Here’s to your health!