Three Ways Giving is Good for your Health

Oscar Lasko YMCA employees with bags of Thanksgiving donations for families in need in West Chester, Pa.

As we head into a second year marked by COVID-19, the YMCA faces many challenges ahead as we continue to rebuild and reshape our organization to meet the needs of our community. 

The past year has brought a wide array of new services – food & diaper drives, wifi hotspot deliveries, blood drives, Learning Centers – and much more, but one constant remains. We are dedicated to our community. Join us – while experiencing a few health benefits along the way!

A Boost of Endorphins 

A study referenced by Psychology Today finds that philanthropic giving is related to satisfaction in life, and not only that but the more people gave, the more satisfaction they felt.  Similarly, a Harvard University study found that people who spend money on others were significantly happier than those who spent money on themselves. 

Those authors took it one step further suggesting that regular giving would inject bursts of happiness into the lives of the donors.  This follows the same pattern as regular exercise or having a regular hobby. 

Better Health 

Gifts do not have to be financial. You still get the great effects of the “Helper’s High”, a term coined in a recent TalkSpace blog through gifts of time or gifts in kind. 

For our donors who donate food, blood, sports equipment, volunteer, or offer gifts in kind – this applied to you! The blog quotes a study from the Cleveland Clinic wherein “helping”, defined as performing selfless acts for others, lowered blood pressure, decreased instances of depression, and led to greater happiness.  Another study cited by that same blog even suggested that helping others lowered mortality rates. 

Lowered Stress

So whether you give financially, give your time, or give in another fashion, your gift helps in more ways than one! The Moffitt Cancer Center suggests, perhaps most importantly, that all types of charitable giving reduce stress, which in turn reduces the occurrences of other physical and mental health issues.  And, as we face another COVID-challenged year, your small gift can have a large impact on a local family and on you too!

The YMCA of Greater Brandywine is a 501c3 non-profit organization that is committed to social responsibility, youth development and healthy living. Contact the Mission Advancement office or  learn more about the ways you can support your Y!