I have been thinking a lot about the fact that I do not volunteer anymore. I did in high school and college, but not now. Part of that was because I was in a very stressful job with slightly odd hours. Now that I have a new job, I am thinking about how I would like to volunteer again.
One thing I find frustrating is the fact that many organizations say that the best way to help them is to send money. I do. I do donate to organizations that I value. But I feel no, or minimal, satisfaction in donating money. It seems to easy to pull out my credit card.
It is a funny situation. If I want to actually help the organizations about which I care, such as the Cleveland Food Bank, then I should stay at home and send them money. If I want to make myself feel good, I should help them sort canned goods.
It is also the idea of doing the most possible good. I have been looking to local organizations because I feel that I want my contributions to matter. There are large organizations in Cleveland, especially in the arts (Playhouse Square, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Cleveland Orchestra) that I love but I know that they attract rich and corporate donors. I want to feel that my contributions are valuable and make a difference.