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When is volunteering a bad idea?

  1. celeste inscribed profile image87
    celeste inscribedposted 4 years ago

    When is volunteering a bad idea?

    We all want to help but sometimes the help we want to give is not necessarily the help that is needed. I often wonder how many volunteers are caught off guard when their efforts to help are met with less than enthusiastic responses. Should we ask first and really understand the need before we offer aid?

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  2. janshares profile image97
    jansharesposted 4 years ago

    Absolutely, celeste inscribed. Short of doing a formal needs assessment, it's best to know what people need before they are inundated with services or "stuff" they really can't use.

    Sometimes people volunteer to do something without giving a second thought about who the individuals in need are. They get caught up in "doing something to make a difference" which primarily makes them feel good about contributing. They lose sight of or never really understood the purpose or mission of the task which turns into misguided giving.

    But to answer the question, volunteering is always a great idea. It just needs to be well thought out and researched so the experience will benefit the giver as well as the receiver.

    An example of misguided giving is taking a bunch of items to a shelter for the homeless when the homeless person has nowhere to store such things and the shelter manager barely has space for the residents to stay. A better way to give to a shelter is to go and visit and ask if there are particular items that are needed. For example, deodorant, toothbrushes, soaps, and lotion. Taking a bag of clothing, shoes, and knick-knacks may not be received well if they don't fit or are not appropriate for the season.

    1. celeste inscribed profile image87
      celeste inscribedposted 4 years agoin reply to this

      Janshares, this is exactly what I was thinking when I asked the question. We need to make sure we are doing a good deed to fill the need of others not the need within ourselves. Very well written, thank you!

  3. cat on a soapbox profile image97
    cat on a soapboxposted 4 years ago

    It seems today that the greatest need for many organizations is money or donations of new goods. Volunteers are still much in need, but the coordination of their efforts requires a liason. All things considered, volunteerism is still great unless it takes a person away from his/her own family.

    1. celeste inscribed profile image87
      celeste inscribedposted 4 years agoin reply to this

      Hello Cat On A Soapbox, I agree that volunteering is one of the best ways we can give back and yes you are right, with the correct communication it can be life changing to someone in need.

 
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