Want more? Give more.

I work in fundraising for a non-profit, and today I had the opportunity to witness a whole lot of gratitude. Surprisingly, it wasn’t from someone who needed our services, but from someone who was supporting our services–a bride and groom who were “registering” with our organization for their wedding.

That’s right. Instead of heading over to Crate and Barrel or Macy’s, this couple decided to request that their wedding guests make donations in their honor to the non-profit where I happen to work. The bride and I sat down over a cup of coffee this morning and hashed out a plan to get their guests really inspired to give. I was falling all over myself, thanking her for everything their support could do for our organization. But I don’t think I was the most grateful one at the table. She couldn’t stop talking about how excited she was to be involved with our non-profit, and how excited she was to get their friends and family involved.

That’s when I remembered the secret to instant gratitude: Give more! Don’t believe me? Check out this article from a few years back:¬†http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/17/opinion/17kristof.html?emc=eta1&_r=0

See? When we give more of ourselves, we feel grateful for what we’re able to contribute, and that equals a heaping helping of happy. Giving–whether it’s financially, through volunteering, or emotionally–makes us realize we are part of something bigger. It gives us an instantaneous dose of the warm fuzzies, and encourages us to build community. Though being grateful for the things we have might seem easy, it might just be a whole lot easier to be thankful for the things we give away.

Now, just because I write the word “wedding” and think back to my own wedding, please indulge me by allowing me to share my favorite shot from our wedding last summer:

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Yeah, we were feeling the gratitude that day. Thanks for giving me (haha, get it? Giving?) that moment of self-indulgence. Now back to our scheduled programming.

When have you been grateful to donate your time or efforts to something? Let’s share our ideas with one another and spread some gratitude opportunities!

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