Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith

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Issues in Volunteering

This essay argues that sometimes volunteering can do more harm than good, or take funds away from a more effective purpose.  The example given involves Haiti; the issue itself is larger.

It's something to think about.  On the one hand, there's a valid point about putting money where it will do the most good.  On the other: people these days, especially Americans, often don't give a flip about other people.  I am therefore rather reluctant to do anything that might discourage them from efforts to be helpful -- however minor -- in case that might put them off it entirely and permanently, as happens to some.  I'd want to be very sure  that the problem was serious enough to justify that risk, and I'd want to have some better alternative(s) in mind to offer people.  If folks want to volunteer and be helpful, that's a good  thing; we need to find ways of making that work. 
Tags: activism, community, networking
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