Aug
30
2009
20

Serve.gov: A Complaint

I love the idea of serve.gov. In fact, I’d hoped it would help me find opportunities as I travel to different cities.

I’m disappointed.

It is SO abused. It makes me nauseous. A whole lot of the “volunteer opportunities” aren’t really service, by my definition: they are giving free help to for-profit companies.

A few weeks ago, a for-profit pharmacy advertising for unpaid help. A marketing company asked for a “volunteer” to man their booth at a county fair to advertise their for-profit services. There were many more instances of, what appeared to me, companies and businesses who want something for nothing.

I’m sorry, I just don’t see that as service. It’s starting to look like small companies, who don’t want to pay real employees, enticing people to work for free.

There are still a few gems, if you scour and scour, so I suppose serve.gov does serve its purpose.

But it leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth. So many people are unemployed. I really hope for-profit companies aren’t taking advantage of volunteers who think they’re serving the country—but are only serving the profit line of a business—instead of hiring real employees who need real work. And with serve.gov being such a national force… could it be contributing to an (albeit, small) increase in the unemployment rate?

What think you?

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Written by Natasha Fondren in: Volunteering | Tags:

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