Learning to give is one of our first lessons as a child. We might not initially understand why we need to share toys with our siblings or take turns on the playground, but we soon discover that ‘sharing means caring’.
As we grow older, the way we choose to give changes. We might volunteer for different organisations, offer emotional support to those around us or donate to charity, but the underlying principle of showing we care remains the same.
According to Good2Give, around two-thirds of Australians donate to charities and not-for-profit organisations every year. Levels of giving are even higher among young people, with almost three-quarters of 25-34-year-olds reportedly donating money last year.
Like many of these givers, 22-year-old Tamryn Sims suggests the driving motivation for her generosity is the ability to help others.
“I donate money every month to my chosen charity because I have the means of supporting others, and I want to show people that I care for them,” Tamryn said.
“I think it’s particularly important to help out where I can at the moment, as our world of constant change can leave many people in need of extra help.”
“Seeing the success of the programs and campaigns that my donations are put towards makes me so proud to be a part of a community that cares for each other.”
Giving is euphoric – a scientific fact!
Donors like Tamryn aren’t just helping their community; science says there is a wonderful side effect for them too. It’s a phenomenon coined the “helper’s high”, and the former executive director of the University of California, Christine L. Carter is confident the warm-feelings of happiness that often come after donating aren’t imaginary.
“The ‘helper’s high’ is a euphoric state experienced by those engaged in charitable acts,” writes Christine L. Carter.
“This is probably a literal ‘high’ similar to a drug-induced high: for example, the act of making a financial donation triggers the reward centre in our brains that is responsible for dopamine-mediated euphoria.”
The same area of the brain that activates when we are excited lights up at the moment a person gives money to a charity. (It’s the same area that lights up in response to food or sex!) But unlike the fleeting feeling of enjoying your dinner or unwrapping a present, donating has much longer-lasting effects.
“Experiments have actually demonstrated again and again that this kindness toward others actually causes us to be happier, improves our health, and lengthens our lives,” Ms Carter said.
In other words, the helper's high is a classic example of nature's built-in reward system for those who help others.
When we feel good about supporting others, we feel more connected to our community too. It’s this ability to build friendships and show kindness that makes humans so special!
Maybe this is why at Be Someone For Someone we’re hooked on tackling loneliness; helping people who are cut off from the community to recover their feelings of connection. We believe no-one should feel lonely, and we can only do this work with the generosity of our supporters, who totally agree.
Give your way to happiness
Now you have the secret of the giving way to happiness, why not experience your own helpers high by making a donation to one of our programs?
Because of the support of our founding organisation, Feros Care, we can spend every single dollar you give directly on helping someone isolated and craving human connection.
$100 one off donation provides a vulnerable senior with technology so that they can reconnect with others online.
$1000 raised brings connection, kindness and community to a lonely senior through our beloved befriending service.
$1500 raised ends a senior’s isolation through the Virtual Seniors Centre, where they enjoy lasting friendships and amazing activities.
“Warm glow giving” is that feeling you get knowing your kindness will totally change someone’s life.
Donate here for an instant warm fuzzy.
If you would like to get behind our work, then we would love to hear from you.