This post is about money and time. These are two scarce resources. By the end of the post, I hope to have made a great case for why you might like to accept my invitation to come and give time to camp, or give money, or both. In the giving of these two scarce resources, you will be happier!
I stumbled upon two blog posts this past week, both dealing with the data that shows giving things away (especially money and time) make people happier.
One post was sent to me by my brother (thanks Bryce). It’s here. In it, author Arthur Brooks writes:
In 2003, while working on a book about charitable giving, I stumbled across a strange pattern in my data. Paradoxically, I was finding that donors ended up with more income after making their gifts. This was more than correlation; I found solid evidence that giving stimulated prosperity.
He’s not talking about tax loop holes… he’s talking about the way that giving stimulates us. He goes on to explain:
Psychologists, I learned, have long found that donating and volunteering bring a host of benefits to those who give. In one typical study, researchers from Harvard and the University of British Columbia confirmed that, in terms of quantifying “happiness,” spending money on oneself barely moves the needle, but spending on others causes a significant increase.
I have seen this over and over again. I’ve been working for Bethany Birches for 10 years now. One of my primary responsibilities is to reach out to supporters and would-be supporters and share the power of camp with them. It’s amazing. When people are here, at camp, they meet and impact young people. Often they catch a vision of a better world. They are inspired to adjust aspects of their own lives, encourage young people and give to the camp. It’s magical… or perhaps a better word is mystical. Mystical is a better word, I think, because it makes room for the possibility that in this process of relationships and service (giving of ourselves and our resources), God enters.
The second post is from a blog I subscribe to called Generous Matters. In her post, Rebekah Basinger references Brooks’ post and adds some of her own words.
Here’s the problem with all this. It sounds suspicious. Until you experience the joy that comes from giving your time and money away, especially to those who need it (like young people at camp), you can’t quite believe that it can provide meaning and happiness.
Won’t you give it a try?
(aka Brandon Bergey)