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How to Make Giving A Rewarding Experience

By Sandy Schroeder

Most of us have gotten a persistent call from a very sincere fundraiser, working for his or her pet cause. Sometimes their pushiness can make the whole process a lot less fun. Other times, when we take the initiative and round up supplies for the local marine or animal shelter, and deliver them with the kids in tow, giving feels just wonderful. Often, when my family did that it was the high point of a busy weekend.

Add Depth to Life with Kindness

Giving really can add depth to our lives when we do it right. UC Berkeley's Greater Good magazine suggests performing an act of kindness at least once a week. If you have kids, Saturday outings can be the perfect time to reach out to seniors, hospitals, libraries or animal shelters.

Here are some tips about giving from Elizabeth Dunn and Michael Norton in their book, Happy Money:The Science of Smarter Spending.

It is alright to say no - Always be aware of where you are and where fundraisers are coming from. You may be a little tight in your budget this year, or your favorite donation site may be in desperate need of help. Whatever the situation, it is the most rewarding when it is as comfortable as possible for everyone involved.

See the results of your gift - The real happiness comes when you see the glow on someone's face, or feel their relief when they receive much needed help. Making a difference really can make your day. Hands-on helping to clean your neighborhood beach, or deliver supplies for an abandoned little dog or baby seal, can make a lasting memory for your kids that often goes right with them when they grow up.

Make it your choice - When you find yourself trapped on the phone by an aggressive fundraiser it is OK to politely say no. Giving loses a lot of its warmth when it becomes an obligation. Pause for a moment and really consider if you want to make this donation.

Build connections when you give - Gift certificates are rampant, and they serve a purpose, but actually getting to know people that you are helping, and participating in helping them pick out the right gifts can be a much deeper experience. I know of a couple seniors who have singled out a family who could use a little help. They talked with the parents and figured out what the children could use. Then they followed through with a tablet that simply would not have been possible otherwise. The parents, kids and seniors all experienced a glow from the gift.

Watch for giving opportunities that just keep giving back to you and your family.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Tampa, Fla.

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