It is that time of year! Giving Tuesday, a national initiative that brings awareness to giving, kicks off the charitable giving season on December 1st!
What does it mean to give, to be altruistic?
Families need more help than ever during the Covid-19 pandemic. As children go through cancer treatment, their parents do not consider that in doing whatever is necessary to help their child, they are altruistic. For them, it is a natural state of being a parent; anything less would be unthinkable. It seems to be such an intrinsic part of human nature. But is it? How did it evolve?
What is altruism, and why is it important?
Definition of Altruism:
a: unselfish regard or devotion to the welfare of others //charitable acts motivated purely by altruism b: Behavior that is not beneficial to or may be harmful to itself, but that benefits others of its species. (Merriam Webster)
It turns out, there is a genetic predisposition to be altruistic. Richard Dawkins argues in his book, The Selfish Gene (1976), that “Gene selection provides one explanation for kin selection and eusociality, where organisms act altruistically, against their individual interests … namely the argument that by helping related organisms reproduce, a gene succeeds in “helping” copies of themselves… in other bodies to replicate.” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Selfish_Gene) Therefore, despite genes selfishly churning out additional copies of themselves, some species developed altruism to help make copies of themselves.
How does this impact us today in society? Altruism leads to volunteerism.
In his book, The Happiness Hypothesis, Jonathan Haidt shares a longitudinal study that shows a causal effect: “When a person increased all measures of volunteer work, all measures of happiness and well-being increased…” This effect was most notable in adults. “The benefits of volunteering for the elderly are so large they even show up in improved health and longer life. Adolescents are already immersed in a dense network of relationships…” He goes on further to say that “With age, however, one’s story begins to take shape, and altruistic activities add depth and virtue to one’s character.” Join us in virtuous volunteering, giving, and spreading joy all around.
Here to Serve understands altruism and the joy that comes with volunteering and giving back to help those in need. Our organization provides a heaven-sent net for the invisibly underserved; parents coping with childhood cancer. Here to Serve helps coordinate and organize much-needed volunteers and resources for families tirelessly caring for their children diagnosed with cancer during the Covid-19 pandemic which has heightened their need many times over.
We invite you to consider donating to kick off the charitable giving season and bring some joy to yourself and others!
But giving one day a year need not be the limit. Consider monthly giving. What feels comfortable? Just one person giving the cost of a daily cup of coffee every month can provide meaningful assistance for a family, such as covering cleaning services for their home or providing groceries through a gift card. Here to Serve gives more with less for families in need because of our wonderful volunteers. When you give to us, you actually give through us, giving pediatric cancer families the most help possible. Find out more here.
Please spread the joy and share the story of Here to Serve with a friend. If you wish to follow an inspiration to volunteer or know of families newly diagnosed with cancer that need help, please do not hesitate to contact us.
By Amanda Enciso