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SPIRIT Carole & Ronald Krist Samaritan Center for Counseling & Education December 2010 · Touching Lives · Healing Hearts
‘Tis the Season of Giving 

We’ve all heard the age-old adage, “It’s better to give than to receive.” Here’s proof that it’s true. A recent study reported that generosity actually does bring more happiness to the brain than receiving something of value. 

To come to this conclusion, scientists used a process called functional MRI in which machines monitor what brain structure shows the most activity when performing certain tasks. In the study, volunteers played a computer game that dispensed cash rewards and offered the option of donating to charity. Researchers found that when participants donated to charity in the game, the brain’s “reward circuits” showed even more activity than when each person received “virtual” cash. 

When given cash in the game, the brain released a chemical called dopamine that’s commonly associated with feelings of pleasure. However, when participants “virtually” donated to charity, not only did the brain release more dopamine than with cash rewards, the brain also released oxytocin — a hormone related to feelings of attachment. Furthermore, when donating, there was high brain activity in the prefrontal cortex which is involved in reasoning and moral decision-making.

Here a few ways to give back this holiday season: 
Donate your old clothes 
Volunteer your time
Sponsor a family or child
Donate food to a homeless shelter
Give money to your favorite charity

Source: Jordan Grafman, Chief of Cognitive Neuroscience at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke 
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News Around the Center

We recently received a $50,000 grant from the Cullen Trust for Health Care. The donation will go towards our Counseling Assistance Fund. Thank you to the Cullen Trust for Health Care for this significant contribution to human health and growth. It is only through individuals, companies and foundations like you that we are able to continue our mission of touching lives and healing hearts.  
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“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.”
~ Sir Winston Churchill 
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Service Spotlight

Each month, Spirit will shine a spotlight on one of our services to reveal how Krist Samaritan Center is touching lives and healing hearts all across Houston.

Lay Ministry Training Program  
As mentioned in the November Spirit, Krist Samaritan Center is launching a Lay Ministry Training Program in January — focusing on congregational care. The program will consist of weekly meetings for 10 to 12 weeks led by Congregational Care Consultants Rev. Dr. Ted Smith, Rev. Dr. Ron Sunderland and Ms. Denice Foose.

To learn more about the Lay Ministry Training Program, contact Rev. Dr. Ted Smith at 281.480.7554, ext. 16.

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Counseling Assistance Fund
As we celebrate the season of giving thanks and giving back to others, we hope you will support the important work made possible by Krist Samaritan Center. The Center’s Counseling Assistance Fund helps to serve individuals and their families with fees based on personal financial need and available funding. Your generosity can help bring hope and healing to those who would not otherwise be able to afford such care.

If you would like to donate to the Counseling Assistance Fund, click the “Make a Donation” link below. 

Make A Donation
Click here [http://www.samaritanhouston.org/donation.html]
A Samaritan Celebration 2010
Krist Samaritan Center Honors Houstonians Who Make a Difference

Carol & Michael Linn, Rahul Mehta, Alice & Keith Mosing, and Kids’ Meals, Inc. were the honorees in attendance at the Krist Samaritan Center’s annual gala, A Samaritan Celebration, held December 4, 2010 at the River Oaks Country Club. A Samaritan Celebration raised more than $250,000 for the Center’s Counseling Assistance Fund which allows the Center to provide high quality counseling and mental health services on a sliding fee scale. 

More than 325 people attended the event chaired by Diane & Brian Kingshill. The night was dedicated to the 6 honorees, who were given the Samaritan Spirit Award. Upon receiving the award, each honoree spoke of their own experiences making a difference in the lives of others.

[call out]
Thank you to all who attended A Samaritan Celebration 2010. Your financial and personal support is invaluable to us and our work at the Center. We are truly grateful for your friendship. Special thanks to everyone who planned and worked behind the scenes to make the event a success — we could not have done it without you. 

Make A Donation
Click here [http://www.samaritanhouston.org/donation.html]
17555 El Camino Real │ Houston, Texas 77058 │ 281.480.7554 │ www.samaritanhouston.org

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