Studies show giving back leads to better health.
An interesting idea, but how can sponsoring a child or elderly friend through CFCA help you feel better physically and emotionally?
Join us as we travel through scientific studies to find out how helping others can make you happier and healthier.
1. We are hard-wired to help others. That’s right. Helping others is in our DNA.
Research by Jean Decety, a neuroscientist at the University of Chicago, suggests that rats will go out of their way to help a fellow long-tailed friend out of a quandary, according to the Greater Good Science Center website for the University of California, Berkeley.
Well, we aren’t rats, but this and other research shows that human and nonhuman animals have an inherent need to show compassion and empathy for others.
Think about it: When someone falls down, the initial reaction for most people is to help the person get back on their feet.
Sponsorship is an easy and wonderful way to meet the need to help others.
The monthly $30 sponsorship contribution applies to benefits such as school fees, food, medical and dental care, clothes, skills training and livelihood programs for parents, and so much more.
When a letter from your sponsored friend arrives in your mailbox thanking you for what you made possible, you will experience the satisfaction of knowing you empowered someone’s dreams.
Which brings us to point No. 2!
2. Giving back is good for your health.
Relationships such as those formed through sponsorship just might help you on a path toward a long and healthy life.
Research by Ed Diener and Martin Seligman, leading researchers in positive psychology, suggests that connecting with others in a meaningful way helps us enjoy better mental and physical health and speeds up recovery from disease, according to the Greater Good Science Center website.
Other studies even suggest an extended lifespan for those who help others.
When you sponsor a child or aging friend, you can also take heart knowing that your donation not only helps your friend, but it helps your friend’s entire family.
The local CFCA staff works with your sponsored child and his or her family to personalize benefits to meet their specific needs.
Over time and through a combination of education, other sponsorship benefits and livelihood initiatives, the family will begin to rely less on sponsorship benefits and more on their own abilities and income-generating activities to provide for their needs.
Knowing what your donation can do really can get those good feelings flowing, and that is very good for your overall health.
An article on The New York Times blog states social relationships are strongly associated with better health and longevity.
When people have someone to talk to, feelings of loneliness and depression subside.
For sponsors and their sponsored friends, this is very good news.
Sponsors and sponsored friends write letters to each other as part of the program.
Through these letters, sponsors learn how their monthly contribution impacts the child and his or her family.
Lessening the burden for a family can make a world of difference when it comes to paying school fees for one child instead of two, for example.
Being a sponsor introduces you to someone new and connects you to someone you can call a friend.
Did any of these findings surprise you? Why or why not? Leave us a comment and let us know!