Monday, February 13, 2012


In honor of LOVE and Valentines day I wanted to talk to you about your heart! What makes your heart feel ten times bigger and full of happiness and love ???? Do not say "CHOCOLATE" or "GERARD BUTLER"!!! Well you can, but that's not what I mean.....I had the opportunity to talk with some friends about volunteering, donating your time for a worthy cause.
That has NOTHING to do with love and valentines....contraire mon has everything to do with that gorgeous love muscle we all have...YOUR HEART!!!

I asked my friend Emily a couple of questions about her experience with being a volunteer, here is her take on it.....

Q:Do you think it encourages you to make healthier choices physically and mentally?
A:It can. Knowing that you are being used to help others can push you to take better care of yourself so you don't let them down or so you can do even more.

Q:Have you noticed any changes in your health and well being since you started to donate your time?
A:It really helped me to keep things in perspective. It's so easy to turn our focus on ourselves, but being able to see others in need really helped me to be more thankful for my own circumstances.
Q: Has being a volunteer affected how you view yourself and how choose to treat yourself?
A:It really made me feel good about myself to see that my life was making a difference and also to be able to model volunteering for my children.

So let me give you my own take on it, I have had the chance to be blessed  with enough extra time that I could do some volunteering of my own. I used to take my daughter (4 at the time) up to the local nursing home with me and we would just go and sit with the residents and chat, sometimes i would read to them, or we would pray together. I would spend maybe an hour and a half with them, and I must tell you that the feeling they gave me of love and appreciation fills my heart up to this day. My daughter loved it too and it was a great experience for her to take all the focus from her daily life and cheer someone else up. Recently I was allowed to help out at a local food pantry, the people there come from all walks of life and are truly amazing. I helped box up food for an hour or so, that was it...nothing extravagant, easy to do. The interaction with the folks there was so wonderful, people so thankful to receive, and helpers just so loving and caring in how they treated everyone. I still feel overwhelmed and so happy to have been a part of that.
These great feeling that I get from the time I gave carry over into my every day life. Happy people make better choices, I know that I do.!

So do I think giving of your time is heart healthy??? HECK YEAH!!!!!! I believe 100% that a happy heart is a healthier heart. When I feel fulfilled in my life, when I feel happy, and that I have a purpose, I make better choices for wise, I feel worthy of hard efforts to improve myself...eating right, exercise, positive attitudes.

Still don't buy are a few study results that may make you think twice about volunteering your free time.....

Americans' Changing Lives survey found that those who volunteered reported higher levels of happiness, life-satisfaction, self-esteem, a sense of control over life, and physical health

Researchers have also found that when patients with chronic or serious illness volunteer,
they receive benefits beyond what can be achieved through medical care.(Arnstein et al., 2002; Sullivan and Sullivan, 1997)

A number of studies demonstrate that those individuals who volunteer at an earlier point experience greater functional ability and better health outcomes later in life.
Using health and volunteering data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Center for Disease Control, we find that states with a high volunteer rate also have lower rates of mortality and incidences of heart disease. When comparing states, a general trend shows that health problems are more prevalent in states where volunteer rates are lowest.

AWESOME!!!! Healthier hearts, lower mortality rates! WHERE DO I SIGN UP?????

You can check out this link  or you can go to any local non profit organization and I am sure they would be happy to use your help. Your kids schools or local nursing homes are always in need of people to help out.


Acts 20:35

35 I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’

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