If you donate time or money to a charity, non-profit, or other cause, no doubt you do so for selfless reasons.
Talk to people who give back in such a way, and many will also confess that they feel as if they get more out of the experience than do the beneficiaries of their generosity.
But that’s just one of the benefits of giving.
For example, older adults who volunteer tend to report better health and wellbeing than their peers.
Obviously, that shouldn’t be your main motivation for doing good. (And in fact, research suggests that giving is only good for you when you do it of your own free will.)
Curious about the other side-benefits? Check out this feature I wrote for Good Times in 2017: ‘Giving is Good for You.’
A big thank-you to the interviewees who so generously shared their time, stories, and expertise:
- Teresa Ainsworth, a London, Ont., retiree, potter, and tireless volunteer for My Sisters Place, and El Sistema Aeolian Hall.
- Dr. Lara Aknin, PhD, an associate professor of psychology and director of the Helping and Happiness Lab at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, BC.
- Dr. Nicole Anderson, PhD, a senior scientist at Baycrest’s Rotman Research Institute in Toronto, Ont.
- Dr. Wael Haddara, chair/chief of critical care at London Health Sciences Centre, an associate professor in the departments of endocrinology and critical care medicine, and a researcher at the Centre for Education Research and Innovation within the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry at Western University in London, Ont.
- Jenny Hauser, a friend, London, Ont., yoga instructor, and volunteer with the St. John’s Ambulance therapy dog program, who, with her canine partner Mulligan, has done regular sessions at Western University’s Student Health Services.
- Teresa Pitman, a friend, senior writer with Family and Children’s Services of the Waterloo (Ont.) region, and longtime La Leche League volunteer, who also supports Covenant House, a Toronto organization that provides social support for at risk youth.
- Ellen Rosen, who donates both time and funds to London Health Sciences Centre, (through the London Health Sciences Foundation) in London, Ont., where she served as VP of Women’s and Children’s Clinical Services before retiring. She is now a coaching consultant at Carswell Partners.
- Harvey Sachs, a retired accountant who volunteers at Baycrest Health Sciences in Toronto.
- Beth Traynor, a friend, lawyer, and partner in Siskinds Law Firm, who helps fundraise for the London Health Sciences Foundation in London, Ont.