We all read those heartwarming social media posts—from pets performing heroic deeds to communities rallying around a person in need. And we feel good for as long as it takes to scroll to the next post. But why let it stop? You can turn that momentary feeling into a long-term health benefit! Improve your health and life expectancy by doing good deeds, whether small or large.
- Volunteer to reduce stress - in addition to studies which have shown the mental health benefits from volunteering such as social connectedness and reduction in depression, a Harvard health study1 has suggested that volunteering with physical activity can help lower blood pressure.
- Donate to take care of your mental health – a National Institute of Health study2 found that people who donated money activated the pleasure center in their brain. In other words, donating money makes you feel good.
- Help others at work and help keep your job – researchers at the University of Wisconsin Madison’s La Follette School of Public Affairs3found that people who help others at work were happier in their jobs and less likely to leave. Giving of yourself makes you a happier employee than co-workers who stay to themselves. And, in addition to feeling good, you’re building a great reputation!
Maleno is giving through two major community projects this year: the Maleno Adventure Woods construction at the Erie Zoo and the Maleno Family-to-Family Fund. In March, we’ll be breaking ground at the zoo to replace the old play structure, in the children’s play section, that had exceeded its lifespan. The new Adventure Woods will consist of a series of trees and ropewalks, along with a natural play area for families to enjoy.
The Maleno Family to Family Fund was established by the Maleno Family as a way to give back to the local community. The purpose of the fund is to provide materials and labor to homes in need of repair or renovation, so that local families in need may have a better living experience. We’ve helped many families over the past 7 years from replacing roofs and HVAC systems to building ramps and installing wheelchair-height appliances. These are folks who needed a hand up due to health issues, employment loss, and everything in-between. No matter what we’re doing, we feel just as thankful to give as those who have benefited from the fund. If you know of any needy families, tell them to apply for the fund at MalenoHomes.com or GECAC.org.
Think about the stories that move you the most. Then, research what best fits with your comfort level in giving—whether it’s local or national, physical or financial, building or clerical. Give yourself a pep talk—this is the day/week/month when you stop reading about what others do and start “doing” yourself. You may not even need to leave home. And it could change your life!
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