Why I Give - Tim Alvarez

Sara Mata, NASPA IV-W Foundation Ambassador

November 20, 2017

NASPA Region IV-W is thankful to our NASPA Foundation Diamond Club members! Leading up to the National Day of Giving on November 28th, we will be featuring a regional member as they share their reason for why they give.

Featuring Timothy Alvarez, Ph.D. Vice President of Students Affairs at North Dakota State University

“When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed” – Maya Angelou.

I wish I would have known the power of giving when I was young professional.  Moreover, I wish I would not have been so narcissistic and naïve about the world. But I was.  Now that I am in the generative stage of my life (yes, basically I’m old), it is easier to give.  But if you are not feeling “altruistic” and don’t want what researchers call the “warm glow” or “helpers high” – the act of making a financial donation that triggers the reward center in our brains that is responsible for dopamine-meditate euphoria.  Then maybe you will consider supporting the NASPA foundation because it will be good for your well-being – really.   Research suggests that there are many positive outcomes we reap from giving: (1) giving makes us feel happy, (2) giving is good for your health, (3) giving promotes cooperation and social connection, (4) giving evokes gratitude, and lastly, (5) giving is contagious.  I don’t know about you, but that is the type of community I want to live in.  So, can we play a role in developing the type of community we want to live in?  Or assume it will happen by accident?

One thing I struggle with: forgetting my privilege.  You see, for many of us, we forget that we have privilege because of our status, our degrees, our vocations, etc.  And we ALL have privilege.  We have a tendency to always think about what we DON’T have, as opposed to what we DO have.  With privilege comes responsibility.  The responsibility to use your privilege to make our world a better place.  You see, “It is one of the most beautiful compensations of this life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself” - Ralph Waldo Emerson.  So help yourself, give till it feels good.  And you don’t have to wait till you are in your generative stage of life to give.  It is not the amount but the ACT of giving that will improve your well-being.

We thank you for your support. Visit: https://www.naspa.org/foundation/make-a-gift

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