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Insights for Sharing: The Social Cause Diet
Date of Review: 
Carolyn Mac Kenzie
Hillcrest Congregational Church News

Does volunteering for social causes improve your health? This is the contention of Gail Johnston and her new book “The Social Cause Diet.” As she states “adding a few volunteer activities to your schedule can lower your heart rate, lengthen your lifespan and possibly even help you lose weight.” The Social Cause Diet is a book of reflections from the author with her own experiences with improving her health through volunteering, as well as a series of short stories from “45 everyday hero’s” who stepped out of their comfort zone in many cases to take up a cause bigger than themselves, and in turn reaped the benefits of a healthier life and improved sense of well-being as a side benefit.

Johnston builds her case from both her own experience and others but it is the causes themselves that keep you reading this book. The stories of satisfying service help you to realize that volunteering comes in all forms: from a kind word to a stranger; to decreasing our consumerism; lessening our impact on the environment; and helping others with contributions of time, money and love. The stories do amaze and delight you in the wonder of the human spirit and our ability to reach out to others in need.

In part 3 of the book, resources are offered to help you find the social cause to fit you including a “Social Cause Diet Personality Test” to help you find the best volunteer fit for your interests. I can recommend this book for anyone as an enjoyable book to read but also for those seeking ideas on how to enrich their life through the power of helping others.