The Secret Handbook 4 Teens

Helping Others = Happiness. It’s Pretty Simple.

This weekend my family and one of my daughter’s friends volunteered at the 2016 Food Fight to end hunger at our nearby expo center. Sure the girls are looking for community service hours for school but I don’t think any of us knew how bubbly, giggly and happy we would be at the end of our service period. This event was sponsored by Feed My Starving Children and as a volunteer you help make and pack  up bags of MannaPack Rice. This incredibly nutritious combo of rice, soy protein, vitamins and veggies contains about six meals and costs only about $0.25 per bag. Our job (though there were plenty of different things to do) was to scoop the ingredients into the empty bags and then hand them off to the rest of our table where they were weighed, sealed and boxed. Our little ole table of just nine people managed to pack up 47 boxes in 2 hours which equals over 9,000 meals for hungry children!

Knowing we were helping others was reason enough to attend but I cannot tell you how much fun we had together. There was a DJ so we were dancing and singing and there were various challenges along the way to keep us motivated and boy we were motivated knowing our hard work was providing more food to more children! But here’s the thing, sure our event was fun but studies have shown that people who are the happiest are people who give back. You don’t have to feel hungry children to give back. You can donate old clothes or electronics to a good cause, help out a local animal shelter (another one of our favorite things to do), help your elderly neighbor carry in her grocery bags or donate your old prom clothes. You don’t have anything to lose by giving of your time or self but you do have everything to gain!

Worried that you won’t be able to find any volunteer opportunities where you live? Check out the site Do Something. You can choose a topic you’re passionate about, figure out how much time you have and what type of volunteering you’d like to do and it will give you some ideas.

I know lots of you are busy with end of the year tests and exams but when that’s all over, give some thought to giving back and helping others this summer. I promise you’ll have fun, I promise it will look good on your college resume and I promise you will make a difference in someone’s (or some animal’s) life. All those pluses and you’ll end up feeling happy too. What are you waiting for?

 

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