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There are many ways to describe acts of charity. Merriam-Webster defines the idea as “generosity and helpfulness especially toward the needy or suffering,” and Lexico defines the concept as “the voluntary giving, typically in the form of money, to those in need.” Meanwhile Dictionary.com says charity is “an organization set up to provide help and raise money for those in need.” All of the definitions mentioned above may have similar themes in common, but they all have some significant differences.

We believe the primary reason for the discrepancy is that the idea of charity can have different meanings to different people. Your personal definition is dependent on your experience level and your motivation.

Thursday, September 5, is International Day of Charity. The United Nations created the holiday to sensitize and mobilize people, non-governmental organizations and stakeholders from around the world with the common goal of helping others through volunteer work and philanthropic activities. The fifth day of September was selected to honor the anniversary of Mother Teresa’s passing. It should come as no surprise to learn the organization choose to commemorate Mother Teresa of Calcultta as she is often the first person who comes to mind when thinking about charity.

Charity can be a powerful way to make a difference in the world around you. It can contribute to the creation of inclusive societies, diminish the terrible impacts of humanitarian crises, help supplement public services and assist in cultural advancement, but did you know that it can also benefit you personally?

Studies have shown there are several positive outcomes when people choose to get involved in charity work. We’ve compiled just a few reasons to consider becoming an active volunteer or organization supporter:

  • Charity work makes people happyWe, as humans, are programmed to help one another. Scientists found from measuring hormones and serotonin levels that giving delivers great pleasure. In fact, the more we give, the happier we feel.
  • Volunteering keeps people connectedVolunteering allows people to stay connected to people, especially those in their communities. Through volunteer work, individuals can increase their communication skills, meet new people and strengthen relationships.
  • Charity can help find people find a sense of purposeLife can be busy and throughout the hustle and bustle, it can sometimes be difficult to remember one’s own purpose. Volunteering has been known to help people find their way and get more out of life. People who choose charity work can keep their minds occupied, get more mental stimulation and add most flavor to their lives.

As we previously mentioned, everyone has their own definitions of the idea for charity, which means you can serve a cause however you choose. Whether you prefer to put in an afternoon of community service or would instead prefer to send the gift of money to your favorite nonprofit, your acts of charity make a difference.

What is your favorite way to practice the act of charity? We’d love to hear in the comments below.

Please consider Lions Pride in your giving plan, you make a difference today while we work to secure tomorrow. Happy International Day of Charity!