Simple ways to be more charitable

Published 9:59 am Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Being charitable is rewarding, not only to those on the receiving end of others’ good deeds but also for those doing the giving.

Research conducted by the National Institutes of Health found participants who chose to donate a portion of money they were provided activated pleasure centers in the brain. Doing something positive can be uplifting, and being charitable helps others in need.

Quite often people who engage in charitable works find inspiration through their efforts. That’s because working with a nonprofit group can create opportunities to meet new people, socialize and be surrounded with like-minded individuals. It also may help adults serve as role models to youngsters. Children who see their parents or other adults being charitable may be more likely to be philanthropic when they grow up.

Every little bit counts when being charitable. Philanthropy doesn’t mean donating thousands of dollars or lots of hours volunteering. The following are some relatively easy ways to incorporate charity into one’s life.

• Collect change: Place a coin jar near where you put your keys or wallet when entering the house. Empty loose change into the jar and watch it fill up. Use the collected funds to donate to a charitable group.

• Round up: When the grocery store checkout clerk asks if you want to round up your purchase to the nearest dollar for charity, opt in.

• Become a leader: Volunteer your time as a scout troop leader, coach a sports team or offer free tutoring for students. You’ll be making an immediate difference in the lives of young people.

• Charitable consumption: Buy from companies that are involved with cause-related products. Many products are tied to charitable efforts, with a portion of money going directly to nonprofits.

• Throw a party: Host a party with a philanthropic theme. Guests can arrive and make a donation or bring a gift that will go to a charitable cause.

• Use your hobby: Participate in charity fundraisers that incorporate some of your favorite hobbies. For those who knit or craft, donate or sell your creations for the good of those in need.

Being charitable is easier than one might think, and even the smallest efforts can produce big results.