Mandatory Volunteering… Good or Bad?

21 Feb

I noticed that a few people had posts about mandatory volunteering and I’ve decided to go with the same topic instead of coming up with my own this week.  I fist started volunteering because I got in trouble in high school and had to do 40 hours of community service.  I was a good kid with good grades, involved in clubs and sports, and I’d had several jobs but volunteering was something I’d never done before until I was forced.  I worked at the Eagle’s Nest (a place where women can find cheap donated clothing) after their move to a new building.  I enjoyed volunteering and was glad I could help women in need.

So the question this poses is that should volunteering be mandatory for more than just punishment?  For me, the community service was not a punishment because it helped developed me and was my first glimpse into the nonprofit world.  I think it would be a good idea for high schools to require a certain amount of volunteer time per academic year or to be completed before graduation.  Many people in my graduating class became involved with drugs, many didn’t go to college, and all but me and 2 of my close friends are pregnant or have children.  I think volunteering would have helped to get my classmates involved in our community and give them something productive to do with their time.  Some of the girls I knew volunteered at the animal shelter and it became a popular thing to do for several months.  I think it would have been nice if our school would have encouraged us to volunteer or required it or even let us know about volunteer opportunities in our community.

I also think jobs should encourage philanthropy work but not require it.  Many people work more than one job and if one or both of their jobs required volunteer time then that would not be good for the employee’s families.  But jobs that reward people for volunteering would be a good thing for the communities they are in.  Some good ideas we discussed in class were paying employees for the time they volunteer and matching employees donations to charities.  Overall, I think anything that encourages people to donate their time toward a good cause is great and should be implemented.

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One Response to “Mandatory Volunteering… Good or Bad?”

  1. matthew May 10, 2011 at 6:27 pm #

    Let us make this clear- Community service as a punishment is NOT volunteerism. That is punishment in the form of free forced labor.

    You cannot volunteer if it is mandated…that is SLAVERY!
    Let that sink in.

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