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The Joy of Giving

Written by Stephanie Pfaff, MEHS Development Manager

As we approach the start of the holiday season this week, some of you may be feeling excitement while some may feel anxious. From family gatherings to Secret Santa exchanges at the office to all the nonprofit organizations you love and support sending their end-of-year appeals, it’s easy to feel stressed out about perceived expectations on giving your two most valuable resources -- time and hard-earned money -- and feel pulled in multiple directions.

After the hustle and bustle of holiday shopping kicks off on Black Friday and extends through Cyber Monday, nonprofit organizations just like us encourage donors and supporters to consider us on Giving Tuesday. It is a day of giving that generates revenue and is an opportunity for us to celebrate and showcase our work to existing supporters and make new friends.

Giving is a wonderful and joyous thing when it comes from a place of goodwill and generosity. In fact, we all have an inherent need to give; we’re social beings and life is meant to be shared with others. Giving is just good for the soul.

Here’s a little more about the social impact of giving back:

Money = power. It gives us security, influence, and luxury. Used for good, money can also make a difference for the people in our community. When you donate money, you’re transferring the investment of your precious time and hard work into something meaningful for your neighbors.

Giving blesses the giver. When nonprofits ask donors to make a financial contribution, we often frame the ask in the form of a community need. While that’s absolutely true, it’s important to acknowledge that giving gives you a deep sense of connection with the receiver.

Giving is transformative. We want to feel connection and purpose in our lives and giving is a central way to find meaning. Winston Churchill said,

We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.

It’s not just about money; it’s about love. When you give money to causes that help your neighbors, you’re actually loving your neighbors. If you’re not accustomed to giving money to a cause organization, I highly recommend it. If you find a cause that is important to you, you’ll feel an even deeper connection with your community.

Here’s a great example:

One of our young donors, Jenna J., and her friend, hosted a lemonade stand over the summer, raising money for MEHS pets. Jenna was so moved by the act of giving back to her community that she approached her principal at Cassens Elementary to host another lemonade stand at school and get her peers involved in a cause. Jenna and her mom, Kathy, purchased the ingredients and supplies necessary for a schoolwide lemonade stand and even supplied quarters for students who may not have spare change, ensuring no one would feel left out. No doubt, Jenna understands the transformative power of giving back and she will be an agent of change in this world.

This brings me to sharing our end-of-year giving campaign, #MEHSYappyPawlidays. We’ve launched a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign because we have quite a few volunteers and staff members who believe wholeheartedly in our mission.

I’ve decided to raise funds for our low-cost veterinary services program because I believe that all pets deserve high-quality health care and that a pet owner’s income shouldn’t be a limiting factor in providing adequate pet care. 4100 dogs and cats die in shelters across America daily because of a lack of funds so it’s important that everyone has access to resources for responsible pet ownership and it’s important to me to help provide services people need to vaccinate, microchip and spay/neuter their pets. Helping fund this program just makes me feel good and promoting it and getting others to support it makes me feel even better.

MEHS provides other community programs like adoption, fostering, humane education & investigation and TNR, which other staff and volunteers are equally as passionate about. If you’d like to join us in our mission, please take a look at the variety of fundraisers we have during our Yappy Pawlidays campaign, make a gift to the one (or ones) that speak to your heart, create your own peer-to-peer fundraiser if you don’t see one that does speak to your heart or contact me to learn about other ways you can get involved.


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