Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Charging volunteers a fee to help clean up the environment

Charging volunteers a fee to help clean up the environment... Really?

Is volunteering done out of the kindness of one's heart or one's wallet? Do we volunteer to make the world a better place even if there is no return on our investment? I do...!!! There is a difference when that fee buys food, drinks, and pays for the costs associated with renting a campsite -- when it is all spent on the activity.

But...

I just found a flyer for a dive shop that charged volunteers $20 to come pick trash out of a local lake. The volunteers did get a sandwich lunch and soda. What was not included: parking ($10/day or $30/year); air fills ($5-10); rental equipment ($50-$75); and of course they had to drive up there and pay for the cost of gasoline ($2.75/g).

I talked to the park ranger, and as expected, a business cannot charge people to go to the lake to do an event like this. A foot-long sub at Subway cost $5 and a can of soda, 50 cents... where did the extra money collected go? Does anyone think this is wrong?

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