We all have the power to enrich the lives of children in foster care. While donating has a tremendous positive impact on the children in our care, did you know that there are many more reasons to keep giving beyond that? The power of philanthropy is supported by various interesting statistics and personal reasons alike. Here are five ways donating to children in foster care benefits you.
5 Reasons to Give
1. Giving Can Make You Happier
According to research, giving is good for your health. If you’ve ever donated money or volunteered, you may be familiar with the warm, fuzzy feeling known as “helper’s high.” Scientific evidence explains that giving releases feel-good neurochemicals like oxytocin and endorphins.
Generosity also offers health benefits. Multiple studies over the past two decades have concluded that volunteering can lower depression. Additional research has shown that volunteering can reduce stress and the risk of developing high blood pressure in adults over 50. Volunteering can even boost longevity! Seniors who volunteer are 44 percent less likely to die over five years than those who don’t.
The benefits of giving seem to be universal, with a positive relationship between giving and happiness in 120 out of 136 countries (after controlling for income and other variables)—even among people who struggle financially.
2. Donating Helps Build Stronger Communities
When you donate to children in foster care, you’re not only helping with immediate needs but also actively building a better community. Contributing to children in foster care helps develop a cohesive, stable support system and the resources and opportunities they need to be successful. In addition, putting children on a path to a healthier future leads to a healthier, stronger community.
For example, children who come into foster care are more likely to be exposed to traumatic events than their peers. Dealing with adversity such as poverty, substance abuse, job loss, mental illness, homelessness, incarceration, safety issues, or neglect can lead to toxic stress, which can take a cumulative toll on an individual’s physical and mental health.
Your donations ensure that on-site caseworkers and therapists at SOS Illinois can provide built-in access to a caseworker or therapist whenever needed for every child in our care. Getting the help they need can go a long way to prepare them for a solid future.
3. Contributing Helps You Be Part of Something Bigger
If you want to feel that your life has meaning beyond your daily routine, that you can make a difference in the lives of others, contributing to a cause can add purpose to your life. Working for a purpose greater than yourself can help you live a successful and fulfilling life.
Research has found purpose-driven people:
- Are four times more likely to be engaged at work, 50 percent more likely to be a leader, and have a 64 percent higher level of career satisfaction
- Are 42 percent more content overall and live up to seven years longer
4. Philanthropy Helps You Create a Legacy of Giving
Children learn by example. One of the long-lasting lessons children learn from their parents is generosity. According to information from the Indiana University Lilly School of Philanthropy, adults whose parents were donors are far more likely to donate to charity. So, when you decide to donate, you may be creating a legacy that’s passed down through your family for generations. Your donations can impact your family and the world.
5. Donations Offer Tax Deductions
Last but certainly not least of the many reasons it’s good to donate to nonprofit organizations is the opportunity to take a tax deduction. So whether you donate cash or make in-kind contributions, itemize, or don’t itemize your taxes, you can still benefit from giving to charity.
In the past, individuals who elected to take the standard deduction couldn’t claim a deduction for their charitable contributions. However, for the tax year 2021 (the taxes you will pay in 2022), cash contributions to qualifying charitable organizations can claim up to $600.
Those who itemize their deductions will also realize a more significant tax deduction for the tax year 2021. For example, while a cash contribution made by an individual to a qualifying public charity was limited to 60 percent of the individual’s adjusted gross income (AGI), that percentage was increased to 100 percent of AGI.
As always, you should consult with your accountant or a tax professional to determine what’s permitted.
Change a Child’s Life Today!
When you donate to SOS Children’s Villages Illinois, you’re transforming lives! The generosity of donors has enabled us to provide safe, stable, loving homes for thirty years. Our intentional community of care builds a strong foundation for a bright future.