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Don’t Just Donate, DO!

By: Sam Zherka

Helping others is one of the most rewarding experiences a human can encounter. Knowing that your efforts are supporting someone in need is what helps to keep spirits lifted around the world. Many people choose to support causes by donating through monetary means. While this is still a crucial part of helping nonprofits to thrive, sometimes money isn’t what an organization is in need of. By getting out and physically showing your support for a cause you often leave more of an impact than just donating money.

Volunteering is something that everyone should, at some point, partake in. There are many benefits for those who spend their spare time giving back to others. In certain studies it has been found that those who volunteer at an older age, are in better health and even tend to live longer. Many times, those who volunteer find themselves leading happier lives. There is something referred to as “the happiness effect” which refers to those who help others and inevitably feel happier upon doing so. This effect is also related to those who have a deeper appreciation for the lives they lead after working with those less fortunate. Another great benefit that comes from getting out there and doing, is the physical activity level you will likely encounter. Scenarios such as supply drives and soup kitchen serving gets us on our feet and moving, something everyone wishes they had more time to do.

Along with the personal health benefits of volunteering, many organizations can only thrive with the help of donated time. As easy as it is to just write a check, it takes a great deal of heart and compassion to show up and give your time and efforts. In many cases, nonprofits are unable to complete their mission without the help of gracious volunteers. Even organizations such as those who help the homeless need bodies sometimes more than money. While money can buy supplies for those in need, the lack of people to help distribute is what challenges nonprofit organizations.

When deciding whether a monetary donation or volunteering is best for the charity of your choice, consider asking them what they need. Although they will accept help in any form, you never know when your presence could change someone’s life.

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