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Help Yourself By Helping Others

Lending a helping hand is not only good for someone else; it’s good for your personal mental health as well. Research shows that when you give of yourself, your attitude brightens, you reduce stress, and the “feel­ good” part of your brain tingles a bit more. Here are a few ideas of how you can help friends and strangers in their time of need, and reap the healthy benefits from your actions.

  • Contact your church office and find out if the administrative manager needs help folding bulletins, or could use help catching up with data entry or other one­time tasks
  • Keep gift cards in your glove box for the homeless asking for money on street corners
  • Get a pen pal with military personnel stationed overseas
  • Smile at the person standing behind you in the grocery store line, and if they seem open, strike up small talk or complement them if you are sincere
  • Offer your volunteer services at a local homeless shelter
  • Gather clothing from your closet you haven’t worn in two years and take it to the nearest shelter that accepts clothes
  • Sign up to serve meals at your church or a shelter on Thanksgiving or Christmas Day
  • Organize a care package drive for military serving overseas
  • Offer to do yard work for an elderly neighbor
  • Send a surprise gift to an old friend
  • Sign up for a 5K walk sponsored by a charity you believe in
  • Go on a mission trip, either in a foreign country or in your own neighborhood
  • Find volunteer opportunities in your local area that benefit the poorest populations or the disadvantaged
  • Sign up to read at a local nursing home
  • Join a mentoring group that fosters the development of children
  • Research tutoring programs at a local prison
  • If you have a finance background, offer your services to a local charity
  • Sign up to be a Meals on Wheels driver

By helping others, you can share your joy, care for those in need, and emulate the love of your faith and commitment to God.