As humans, we all need connection — and the holiday season is an ideal opportunity to bring connection to life. If we look closely at the spirit of the holidays, it’s all an expression of love, gratitude and giving to others. Generosity can have a profound impact on our communities and our neighbors, but the impact doesn’t stop there. Generosity can be equally meaningful for those who give. This holiday season, take time to learn about the power of giving back and the benefits that come from giving and consider giving the gift of time, talent or treasure to the people and organizations that need it most.
The Power of Giving Back
The act of giving may seem transactional at first glance. But it’s far more complex, explains Maggie Dworak, Administrative Supervisor with KVC Nebraska, whose work supports donors and development efforts. “There’s nothing more powerful than being able to help somebody else,” she says. “Giving to others is one superpower that we all have the ability to do in some way or another, with our time, talent or gift of treasure.”
Generosity enhances our perspective by reminding us that we’re all a part of something bigger than ourselves. Giving is proven to help encourage empathy, create a sense of belonging and community and promote a sense of purpose in our lives. Donating typically falls into one (or more!) of three categories: time, talent or treasure.
Time is precious, and voluntarily taking personal time to help others is a gift. Not only does volunteering create a positive experience for those volunteering, it also makes a positive impact on the recipient. When doing good and giving time is in focus, the giver is rewarded with a natural sense of accomplishment that fuels confidence and satisfaction. Giving of your time can take countless forms, from a short-term afternoon on-site at a nonprofit to a long-term commitment.
Sharing talents and personal skills creates great opportunities for giving to others. Through mentoring or offering professional skills at no cost, others can learn from or receive necessary services while you receive the powerful benefits of giving. For those looking to do good and make a meaningful contribution to the world, this is one way to do that.
Although giving through time or talent can be a more personal approach, a financial donation or giving a gift of “treasure” is just as valuable. Through monetary donations, the gift of treasure can help those in need and make a difference. No matter the size of your donation, studies have found that the action and intent of giving provide the benefits, not the amount.
“KVC always strives to provide the best and do the best for our clients,” Maggie says.
And when the people of the community give financially, they help create a ripple effect. Donations to KVC Nebraska go directly to supporting thousands of local children and families in crisis.
The Mental Health Benefits of Giving
Many often consider how giving to others provides a significant change in the lives of those receiving. But studies have found that positive changes are also in store for those doing the giving. In fact, giving back produces more than a heartwarming smile from those that are helped, it also produces positive physiological and psychological effects in the body and mind of the giver.
By helping others, a chemical response takes place that releases “feel good” chemicals from the pleasure centers of the brain. When you exercise generosity, you’ll also experience boosts from:
- Serotonin, the mood regulator
- Dopamine, in charge of sensing pleasure
- Oxytocin, which creates connections with others
- Endorphins, the reward sensor
These chemicals then spark a positive reaction within our body’s physical and mental landscape. These emotional and physical reactions, following an act of selfless service to others, create a flood of happy feelings and positive reactions. This state of mind has been coined the “Helper’s High” since around the mid-1980s, and numerous studies have found it to be true. The results are meaningful and long-lasting, including:
- Lower blood pressure
- Reduced stress
- Diminished feelings of depression
- Potentially increased lifespan
“The positive impact of giving to others acts like a snowball effect and makes others want to give more,” Maggie says.
And the holiday season is ideal for experiencing the joy of giving, through contributions to KVC.
Opportunities to Give Back to KVC
As an organization with 90% of operating expenses going toward program funding, any donations are put to good use supporting thousands of individuals, children, adolescents and families. Giving back to KVC means that those served will receive the help they need to remain safe, stable and enriched.
In addition to the much-needed volunteers and continuous in-kind donations like welcome boxes, back-to-school supplies and hygiene items, gifts are especially appreciated through the holidays. With this in mind, KVC offers additional options for giving during this season, including:
- Toys for Tots: During the holiday season, KVC receives donations from the Marine Corps Toys for Tots program to help give gifts to children in foster care. This campaign focuses on children 0-12 years of age and proves to be a great success each year. Make a child’s dream a reality this year, and donate to Toys for Tots.
- Holiday Heroes: Ready to become a hero? Give to the Holiday Heroes Program at KVC! With so many focusing on younger children, there’s a greater need for gifts for children ages 13 and up and for developmentally appropriate gifts for those with disabilities or special needs, like those who participate in the Shared Living Programs. Help the teens and those served by the shared living program feel special for the holiday and give to Holiday Hero’s Program.
- Donations: Gifts of treasure are appreciated year-round and help with any number of supportive resources for clients. In general, donations to KVC go toward supporting the foster children, but at KVC Nebraska, a portion of the donations go toward family resource events like the Resource Family Conference and helps the organization share resources with those in need more readily. Check out the options to donate here.
Giving Back to KVC Nebraska
The joys of giving back are countless. And at KVC Nebraska, your generosity can have a profound impact! KVC Nebraska provides a variety of resources to help educate the community about child welfare, foster parenting, caring for individuals with disabilities, healthy brain development and more — and it happens because of those who give. Make this holiday season extra bright with a gift to KVC Nebraska today.