Do you remember cutting out construction paper hearts at school each February? Your scissors traced each half until a perfect heart fluttered onto your desk. You’d repeat this until you had enough hearts to glue on a mailbox filled with Valentine’s Day cards.
After picking out the right card for each classmate, how did you feel delivering it? Happy, right? That same warm feeling happens when you volunteer. In fact, giving back to your community isn’t just good for your soul, it’s good for you heart.
Here’s what happens to your heart when you give back:
- Your Blood Pressure Is Better: A study from Carnegie Mellon University found that adults 50 and over who volunteered regularly were less likely to develop high blood pressure than non-volunteers. But why? When you volunteer, you are active, and that physical activity has a positive impact on your blood pressure.
- Your Ticker Ticks Longer: The same study showed that older adults who volunteered had greater self-esteem, purpose and fewer depression symptoms—all things contributing to a longer, stronger and healthier life.
- Young Hearts Stay Healthy: Researchers studying how volunteering impacts teen physical health found that just one hour of volunteering each week improved inflammation and cholesterol.
Giving back comes in all shapes in sizes. So, it’s important to make sure you’re devoting time and resources to organizations you care about. Here are a few ways to help in your local community:
- Give Money: Donate to your charity of choice. If you’re looking for a worthy cause, consider supporting the Delta Dental of Arizona Foundation. When you make-a-donation to our Foundation, 100% of the money goes to oral health programs in Arizona. Plus, your donation to the Foundation is eligible for a dollar-for-dollar credit on your taxes!
- Give Time: Some employers let you take a set amount of time off work each year for volunteer activities. Not able to sneak away from your office? Find a group or organization needing help on the weekends. Some will even get your kids involved!
- Give Stuff: Many charity groups take new and gently-used household items. Try asking your neighbors to gather items on a nonprofit’s wishlist. Other organizations accept donated items to resell in their thrift stores.
- Share Your Skills: We can’t all be good at everything, but everybody is good at something. Are you good at designing newsletters? Do you have a truck? Your special skills or supplies go a long way for charity organizations with limited resources.
- Spread Kindness: A simple act of kindness can’t be overstated. Give a smile wherever you go. You’ll brighten somebody else’s day, and yours as well!
Want to know more about Delta Dental of Arizona and our commitment to the community? Check out these blog posts: