The Benefits of Blessing Others
November 30, 2022
Written by JD McNutt, Pastoral Care Coordinator
Three years ago I was in Costa Rica on a mission trip, and each afternoon our group gathered together food items – powdered milk, corn meal, rice and beans – very simple materials that would help a family for a week of meals. These bags of food were then delivered to some of the poorest areas around the place we were staying. Homes made of concrete blocks, dirt floors, and metal roofs - barely standing. After we took the food to one family, an older gentleman who was about 5’ feet tall (I’m 6’2”) hugged, or rather squeezed me, broke a couple of my ribs, and said something in Spanish I could not understand…but I understood the gesture. It was a gesture, or rather a blessing, of thankfulness. Ever since that small moment in time, I’ve been pondering, “who fed who?”
How Does Volunteering Help Your Mental Health?
Studies have shown that volunteering our time and helping others is beneficial for our own mental health. At HopeWay, we often talk with clients about the psychological benefits of giving back. Volunteering has been shown to reduce depression, increase connection and help people find purpose. It becomes a two-way street where the sharing of our blessings benefits us as well.
A Need for Hope
I would encourage all of us during this holiday season and beyond to look for ways to be a blessing and a giver of hope. It might be volunteering, giving of your resources, or simply saying hello and starting a conversation with someone you may not even know. The need for hope is everywhere.
May you go out and give hope and, in turn, allow yourself to be fed.
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