When you give, did you know that your brain activity changes? It is said to have an effect, much like you get when you get a raise or eat good food. Giving actually produces dopamine, which creates a natural high! It feels good, it impacts your mood and impacts your connection to the place you donated and for me, makes me want to dance or give more often!

But let’s take a few steps back, before that feel good moment, how do you decide where you make a charitable donation? What makes you donate clothes, food, money and time? And to whom? First you must form a connection to the place you give, and you must be compelled. What is the mission? How are they making life better for others? Do they make it easy to give? I want to know who I am helping and I want to know that the money is staying local. I have my own personal parameters before I decide to give as I am sure you do too.

Yes, I work at United Way of Wayne and Holmes, but I also love it here and I believe so deeply in the work that we do. The reason I give is to do it once to help 19+ local organizations that are doing great work. I know when I give to United Way of Wayne and Holmes Counties, I am helping in four areas that truly improve a person’s life. I know that at UWWH my dollars will be stretched to help more and more people succeed. I trust that when I give to this organization my dollars go where I want them to go. Dollars add up, and there is no insignificant gift. I work every day in a job that makes me truly grateful to those who believe in the work we do and put their hard earned dollars behind our mission. Yes, studies show that giving increases brain activity and creates dopamine and all that good stuff. But on the flip side, those on the receiving end must have the same feeling; the feeling of thanks, the feeling of relief, the feeling of being so humbled that they don’t even know how to respond. The people you are helping are people that have dignity, feelings and values. When you give, you’re putting others first! What better time to donate than in the season of giving, the season of hope and the season of joy.

Carrolyn Salazar Staff

About Carrolyn Salazar

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