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You know how much I love healthy living and giving, but did you know that giving keeps me healthy? Well, it does, and it can keep you healthy as well! According to an article I read in Healthy Living Made Simple from Sams Club, "People who donate their time to a worthy cause are more connected to others, and thus less likely to feel lonely or depressed. Researchers now think there are likely physical benefits as well. People who volunteer report lower stress levels, and a study last year from Carnegie Mellon University found that older adults who volunteer for at least 200 hours a year decrease their risk of high blood pressure by 40 percent. The type of volunteer activity wasn't a factor." You can read the full article here. How awesome is that? I personally love that my two passions merge together in such a seamless way.
This holiday season my family and I are always looking for ways to give back to the community. It is important to my husband and I that we find ways to include our children in both our volunteer efforts and our efforts to give locally, so that they learn the importance of giving back. That's why we recently took them to Sam's Club to purchase food items for two of the local community projects we work with. My husband is a member of the Coast Guard Enlisted Association here in Elizabeth City, and he works with this group to find ways give back both within the Coast Guard and throughout Elizabeth City. They recently opened a food bank on base so members who need help with groceries can get the things they need for their families, and they offer Thanksgiving bags to members who need help purchasing Thanksgiving dinners. I personally love the Thanksgiving bags because our family has benefited personally from these donations in the past!
So when we took the kids shopping, we allowed them to choose what they wanted to donate to the food bank, because we knew that we needed to purchase chicken broth for the Thanksgiving bags. Of course the kids were thrilled, and all agreed that they should get something kids like, so they chose SpaghettiO's!
Giving should be a family affair! When your children see you making community service and giving a priority, they will make it a priority well. It will become second nature to them. My husband serves in many areas. Not only has he donated to the Coast Guard food bank, helped make Thanksgiving a less stressful time for families with the Thanksgiving bags, but he has also given his time to Meals on Wheels, served local youth groups, and gone to Mexico to build churches and minister to children.
Our children see us serving, and they want to be a part of that. I have made jewelry for Not One Tear, worked with the Red Cross, and also serve the youth and our church through social media management. The more our children see us get involved, the more they want to take part, and that makes me one happy mama, and it makes us a happier, healthier family!
Nothing compares to the joy I experience when I give. As much as I love working out, and preparing healthy meals, community connections through volunteerism immediately melt my heart and give me joy like nothing else!
If you would like to learn more about being #SimplyHealthy, make sure you download the Sam's Club Healthy Living Made Simple app for your iPhone and iPad so you can learn more about how giving back can keep you healthy!
Now it's your turn! I shared with you how giving keeps me healthy, now I would love to hear how giving keeps your family healthy! What do you do to give back to the community?