How to be happier: Find a charity and donate time or money—Great Options

Giving makes you happier. It’s scientific. It’s psychology. The 201o Do Good. Live Well Survey by United Healthcare surveyed more than 4,500 American adults and found that 68 percent of those who volunteered in the past year report that volunteering has made them feel physically healthier.

Volunteers agree that volunteering helps them to lead healthier lives:

  • •68% of volunteers agree that “volunteering has made me feel physically healthier.”
  • •89% of volunteers agree that “volunteering has improved my sense of well-being.”
  • •73% of volunteers agree that “volunteering lowers my stress levels.”
  • •29% of volunteers who suffer from a chronic condition agree that “volunteering has helped me manage a chronic illness.” • Volunteering appears to correspond to a healthier BMI. 34% of volunteers are considered to have an “average” BMI, compared to 27% of non-volunteers. In addition, a lower proportion of volunteers (31%) were identified as obese when compared to non-volunteers (36%)

And the benefits continue: 

  • •92% of volunteers agree that volunteering enriches their sense of purpose in life
  • •Volunteers are significantly more likely (72%) to characterize themselves as “optimistic” compared to non-volunteers (60%).
  • •They are also significantly more likely (36%) to rate their overall satisfaction with their lives as “very good” compared to non-volunteers (26%).
  • •Volunteers are significantly more likely (42%) to say they have a “very good” sense of meaning in their lives, compared to non-volunteers (28%).
  • •Volunteers are significantly more likely (40%) to say they have a “very good” sense of purpose in their life, compared to non-volunteers (27%).

Find a cause that speaks to you. Donate time or money and get involved. Make it a present. Make it a New Year’s Resolution.

If you have one that you are passionate about, leave a comment and we’ll include them.

Surfers Environmental Alliance

sealogoSEA Paddle NYC has been raising funds and support for environmental and autism charities for 7 years now? I’ve paddled NYC twice and it’s a bucket list race. What makes it special is it’s always been about raising money for charity. You not only commit to paddling, you also commit to raising at least $1000, $1500, or $2000 for the paddle depending on the year and my memory. In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, SEA continued their race, refocusing on the relief effort. It’s an amazing group of people who really care and I highly recommend checking them out, donating time or funds.

Surfers’ Environmental Alliance is committed to the preservation and protection of the environmental and cultural elements that are inherent to the sport of surfing. Our goals are achieved through grassroots efforts, community involvement, education and humanitarian efforts. We engage in projects that strive to conserve the quality of our marine environment, preserve or enhance surf breaks, protect beach access rights, and safeguard the coastal surf zone from unnecessary development.

SEA Website: http://www.seasurfer.org

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Surfers-Environmental-Alliance/83480749566

 

Surfers Healing

surfershealing

John Pike got me involved with Surfers Healing—this amazing family of surfers who travel the US, bringing a day of surfing joy to the world. Each year, Izzy Paskowitz and his crew come to Wrightsville Beach for their camp which provides:

Through the transformative experience of surfing, Surfers Healing attains greater mainstream acceptance for both the families of and the kids living with autism.People seem to have a lot of pre-conceived ideas about what kids with autism can or can’t do. We’re here to change those notions forever. Surfers Healing has spent the last fifteen years taking children with autism surfing. Our goal is to help foster the understanding and acceptance of autism. charity-camps

With the help of incredible volunteers and a team of the most amazing surfers in the water, Surfers Healing is making a difference in the lives of families and kids living with autism. Last year we took out over 4,500 kids. Next year we plan to take out even more. Our Mission, with your help, is to keep our camps completely FREE. In 2014, we plan to add a program to sponsor families who are unable to afford the trip to a Surfers Healing camp.

It’s the best day on the beach. Izzy and his son, Isaiah’s story is amazing.

Surfers Healing Website

Donate Here

On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Surf2Heal

On Twitter: https://twitter.com/SurfersHealing

Monroe County Special Olympics

katiemonroecounty

If Katie has a favorite, it’s these wonderful people in Key West. I met Ruth Holland and her team at the Key West Classic and found out what an expression of pure joy looks and feels like. Trish and the Lazy Dogs have been working with them for years and I couldn’t think of a more worthy or wonderful option for giving.

Special Olympics of Monroe Country FL Website: http://specialolympicsflorida.org/monroe/

On Twitter: https://twitter.com/soflinfo

On Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/specialolympicsflorida

In YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/SpecialOlympicsFL

Ocean of Hope

Screen Shot 2014-12-23 at 9.08.06 AMOcean of Hope and the Sarcoma Alliance is one of the recipients for the Carolina Cup and does an amazing job. Aimee Spector has ben helping us plan for 2015 and things are looking great. Here’s their description:

The Ocean of Hope Team consists of paddlers and ocean enthusiasts who dedicate their training and racing to raising awareness and funds for the Sarcoma Alliance.  O2H began with one paddle boarder in 1999 and has grown to include paddling events, prone and SUP paddleboarders, outrigger paddling teams, and other athletes who dedicate their own personal challenge or event to help those that are fighting cancer.  O2H is “dedicated to the sea of people affected by cancer”. We are proud that O2H remains a grassroots fundraising organization that exists solely to raise money for the Sarcoma Alliance; and we are proud of what we have accomplished.  Since 1999, O2H has raised almost $800,000 and we are still going strong!

Ocean of Hope Website: http://sarcomaalliance.org/ocean-of-hope/

Donate Now: http://sarcomaalliance.org/ocean-of-hope/ at the bottom, you can buy a shirt and donate.

On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ocean-of-Hope/200302780030549

SurfAid

SurfAid

My buddy Jonathan Ware, helped raise money for SurfAid when he paddled the Chattajack 31. He took the opportunity to set personal goals that went beyond his physical accomplishment.

SurfAid:

We’re a non-profit humanitarian organisation whose aim is to improve the health, wellbeing and self-reliance of people living in isolated regions connected to us through surfing.

SurfAid Website Donate Here

On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/surfaid

On Twitter https://twitter.com/surfaid

On Instagram: http://instagram.com/surfaid/

Hope from Helen

hfh

This is a local Wrightsville Beach charity run by my friend Tony Butler. They raise money each year through an auction for . I’ve had a few friends who have lost battles with cancer and while they were fighting, Hope From Helen would show up with money and support for whatever they needed. I remember them offering one of my friends who was terminal to send them somewhere for a last trip and another that just needed some extra help. I’m in awe of their generosity and feel eternally grateful to them. Hope From Helen Website. Donate here

Pipeline to a Cure

pipelinetoacureWe learned about this amazing charity from Dave Kalama this past summer when Dave came in for a charity benefit dinner.

Pipeline To A Cure is dedicated to raising funds to combat cystic fibrosis (CF) as well as awareness about the therapeutic benefits of surfing to CF.

Dave spoke about it in his talk at the Carolina Cup in 2014 and how it motivates him when times are tough.

Pipeline to a Cure Website: http://www.pipelinetoacure.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PipelineToACure

 

Plastic Pollution Coalition

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I met Jenny Kalmbach, Morgan Hoesterey and Chris Aguilar when they were making Destination 3 Degrees, raising awareness for Algalita Marine Research Foundation and plastics in the oceans. This AMAZING movie shows just how much of a threat plastics are to our oceans and our planet, our children and our lives.

Website: http://plasticpollutioncoalition.org

 

Here are a few others we love:

Cousteau Society: Educating people to understand, to love and to protect the water systems of the planet, marine and fresh water, for the well-being of future generations. I’ve been a member since I was 6. http://www.cousteau.org

Sea Shepard: Established in 1977, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (SSCS) is an international non-profit, marine wildlife conservation organization. Our mission is to end the destruction of habitat and slaughter of wildlife in the world’s oceans in order to conserve and protect ecosystems and species. These are the badasses in the environmentalist activist world. They physically get in the way of whalers and illegal fishing. http://www.seashepherd.org

ASPCA: or over 140 years, the ASPCA has worked tirelessly to put an end to animal abuse and neglect. We are a national leader in the areas of rescue, adoption and welfare. https://www.aspca.org

Share this post and pick one. Give a small donation and help people and the planet. Protect our playground and help those in need.

Please comment to this with your favorite charities:

 

  1. Thanks so much for mentioning SurfAid on Distressed Mullet. With your support and paddleboarding community, we were able to raise over $3,000 dollars. These funds will go to support tangible and self-sustaining improvements in the lives of the Mentawai mothers and children.

John Beausanghttp://www.paddlemonster.com
Writer, Small Business Owner Father, Husband, Paddler, Surfer Sixers & Eagles Fan Proudly Independent Publisher, @distressdmullet Co-Founder @Paddlemonster

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