As the year winds down and we move into the holiday season, I have been thinking about giving. You may have gift giving as part of your tradition with family and friends, or you may be finalizing end-of-the-year gifts to your favorite charities. We have all heard that it is more blessed to give than to receive. In a year when we have all been more isolated than ever before, can giving be an intentional act of defiance against the division caused by Covid-19, distance, isolation, and partisan politics?
You have probably heard about the scientific benefits of gifting. Many studies have proven that giving has many benefits to the giver. Surveys show that people who give regularly are happier than those who do not. Even more, a 2012 study showed that those who volunteer their time live longer. Giving also builds community. Being generous creates a heightened sense of interdependence and cooperation. Studies also show that giving is contagious. The idea of paying it forward is proven to prompt others to do the same. I could go on with the scientific benefits of giving: battling depression, giving life more meaning, increasing our self-awareness and confidence, building trust in our relationships, being better listeners, creating contentment, and building stronger relationships.
At Help Lightning, many of our employees are generous givers. And we encourage giving both individually and corporately. The company is built around the idea of giving and receiving help. We like to say that everyone is an expert in something, and Help Lightning can allow you to share your expertise with those who could benefit from your expertise. The Help Lightning family is indeed a community of givers.
We also have a program to give back to our community. One of our partners did a study to show that parents can install child safety seats with fewer errors using a virtual expertise tool like ours. Did you know that 80% of parents do not install their child’s safety seat correctly? Those errors sometimes result in injury or worse to children. Imagine a world in which more seats are installed correctly and fewer children are injured as a result. Expertise is powerful and sharing it can be life-giving.
We also partner with a non-profit organization that uses virtual expertise to support the training of surgeons around the world. The organization published a study (supported by Help Lightning) that showed virtual expertise can yield substantially better outcomes for pediatric neurosurgery cases. The organization enlists surgical volunteers to engage with their colleagues around the world to share the latest life-saving surgical techniques and train surgeons in the developing world. This is sharing expertise at the highest level. Once trained, those surgeons benefit from the knowledge for a lifetime and can pay it forward by continuing the chain of training. Giving away knowledge does not deplete knowledge and only costs time. A win-win.
Indeed giving does build community and make us all stronger. How are you giving back to your community? Do you know of a charitable organization that would benefit from the use of Help Lightning? I would love to hear from you.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all.
Gary York, CEO