Charitable Giving and the Power of Hugs

Charitable giving and the power of hugs? This may seem like a strange combination since social distancing is now the norm. So let’s break it down.

First: the power of hugs

Believe it or not, human touch really does have healing properties! In fact, the overall  physical benefits of hugs are pretty impressive. You see,  your body is one big cocktail of hormones and other chemicals, and hugs have a huge impact on their levels.

shutterstock 290627369I mean, everyone knows that hugs make you feel good. But  do you know why? It’s because hugs instantly boost your oxytocin levels!  This is a hormone known as the “love drug” because it can make you feel good all over.  According to the Concorde Career Colleges, Inc., one oxytocin-triggering embrace can heal feelings of loneliness, isolation, and anger. 

And then there’s serotonin. A tender caress can relax your muscles, ease tension, and in the process mellow your mood by increasing your serotonin levels. Hugs can also stimulate your thymus gland and balance that nervous system of yours. Just imagine: one good squeeze can overhaul your whole immune system!

And consider this: one loving hug is also the equivalent of an emotional and psychological workout. Yup! It can boost your self-esteem, facilitate self-love and self-care, and inspire trust in others.

Hugs in the form of charitable giving

Because of the pandemic, air hugs are as close as we can safely get, but, of course, that’s not enough! Fortunately there’s a remedy for those of us who long to reach out, and make emotional contact with another earthling.  Charitable giving can be another kind of embrace.

shutterstock 1575762010For instance, there’s nothing more huggable than a pet. Take “National Dog Day” in August.  Every social media platform was cluttered with photos of dearly loved, totally spoiled, perfectly adorable pooches [and  even a few cats]. And with good reason.

Psychologist Harold Herzog, a pet-loving professor at Western Carolina University. has studied the human-animal connection for years.  He told CNN.COM this: “… ‘Higher survival rates, fewer heart attacks, less loneliness, better blood pressure, better psychological well-being, lower rates of depression and stress levels, fewer doctor visits, increased self esteem, better sleep and more physical activity,” are just some of the recorded benefits of pet ownership….’”

Of course, dog and cat lovers still suffer from depression and loneliness like the rest of us, but at least they don’t have to do it alone! Unfortunately, what stands between some prospective pet owners and their new fur-babies is money. Because, no matter who or what the “baby” is, parenting can be expensive.

Charitable giving and the power of pets

Charitable team building workshops are a win-win for you, your staff, and members of your community.  For instance, your team could pitch in and donate a pet starter kit.  Covering that expense could make it easier for a reluctant pet parent to make that big commitment. 

shutterstock 1330053623Pet insurance is an actual thing now. And so are immunizations and other veterinary services. There’s the food and water dishes—and the food. Beds, blankets, pillows, and leashes. 

Even the fun stuff can add up: treats, chew toys, squeaky toys, and more treats. Of course, some of our fur-babies prefer to play with the box, instead of the fancy gift inside—but that’s what the joy of pet parenting is all about.

Your help in  bridging some of these financial hurdles will bring a pet one step closer to a lifetime of cuddles in their forever home. And you and every member of your team will feel the love, too—forever.

Emotional rescue through charitable giving 

shutterstock 1443249371Sometimes, a hug can save a life. Police officers, EMS, and other first responders encounter traumatized children at auto accidents, fires, and other tragedies every day. Through your charitable giving donation, you can provide some of these kids with a healing hug from a different kind of pet.

They’re called Rescue Buddies—bears, birds, mooses, fish, and other stuffed animals waiting to deliver a few healing snuggles to a frightened child. Your team can assemble these adorable toys during a Rescue Buddies charitable workshop. 

Then you’ll donate them to first responders in your community who’ll keep them on hand to give to children who need help recovering from the calamity they’ve just endured. And with every squeeze of their new toy, each child will grow stronger psychologically and emotionally.

Whether the hugs are for pets or people, each one is powerful. Your simple acts of charitable giving will strengthen the relationships among your team members and enrich your corporate culture. And it’ll turn you into a hometown hero, boosting your corporate social responsibility ratings and your overall morale.