To Volunteer or Not To Volunteer

I love the idea of volunteering. It makes me feel good doing good for others. Everytime there is a volunteering opportunity, I am always one of the first ones to jump on board.

Teach math to disabled kids? I am down. Become a docent at a local museum? Sign me up. Prepare warm foods for the homeless? Count me in. Pack christmas gifts for poor children? I’ll be there.

I have even been playing with the idea of becoming a charity volunteer by spending time flying to impoverished places to build schools and irrigation systems. All of these great things that we could contribute to the world really pump me up.

Nevertheless, I have been asking myself lately: is it smart, though?

From Efficient Charity: Do Unto Others…

If a high-powered lawyer who makes $1,000 an hour chooses to take an hour off to help clean up litter on the beach, he’s wasted the opportunity to work overtime that day, make $1,000, donate to a charity that will hire a hundred poor people for $10/hour to clean up litter, and end up with a hundred times more litter removed.¬†

If I use the similar equation, then my volunteering activities are definitely not smart. It has a good intention but lame strategies. Instead of volunteering, I could just work more and donate more. This way I could make a bigger impact.

However, I have been spending my free time binge-watching Family Guy. I might as well do things that are good for others, even though it is not so efficient.

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