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Donating a little bit of money or time may not seem like much, but if your donation is joined with others, it becomes something much bigger. Giving to others increases your capacity for love. It makes you realize that even if you don’t have much, you have enough to share with others.

​Eighty-eight percent of households give to charity. Some people give to charity because they want to make a difference, others do it because they feel obligated, some to get credit, and others because it’s socially expected of them. Others who cannot give financially give their time by volunteering at nonprofits that are important to them. In 2011, the estimated dollar value of volunteer time was $19.54 per hour, and in addition to the financial impact of volunteering, many people who benefit from volunteers appreciate actual volunteer hours because they feel more personal.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the problems in the world and feel like you can’t make a difference. There is a lot of poverty, millions of under-served children. Every little bit helps. Many nonprofits are underfunded and understaffed, and as cheesy as it sounds, the truth is that if every person gave a little, our world would be a lot happier and a much better place. Just getting the word out makes a difference. Many employers offer employees one day off per year paid that is to be used just for volunteering. Others will offer paid time off for employee volunteer projects when multiple people go together. Volunteer with your coworkers, and, yes, get recognition for your efforts, if that is really important to you. Donating money can be just as contagious. If you see an important cause, share it over social media. Dare your friends to pick an important cause and donate. Give a donation as a gift instead of buying a useless gadget. Donate in honor of a loved one.

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