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[FAR New York]: To Donate or Not to Donate? The Way I See It. Part 1.

June 14, 2010

By Samantha McQueen

I’m a poor college student. Actually, I know very few people my age who don’t feel the financial pinch of college. Then why is it that I feel it is important to donate to charities like FAR? Not just me but so many university students fight for their respective cause. It’s not like we have any money of our own to donate. And since I can’t actually give, I compensate with volunteering. Originally I thought I was following the 21st century trend of celebrities like Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt. But this can’t be it. The average household in America donates $1,000 annually to charitable causes (American.com). Americans as a whole feel that we have a lot to offer as a country of excesses. It almost looks like our superiority complex is advantageous in terms of giving. We like seeing the end result of our excesses. We have some leftover money, so we donate to see what happens. It feels good seeing a picture of a child smiling after receiving a hot meal, especially when you provide that hot meal. This whole concept is obvious when it comes to giving physical money, but time is irreplaceable so volunteering requires a deeper commitment to feeling that satisfaction. It’s not that we never realized that we craved this satisfaction before, Americans just have more outlets and organizations to quench it now.

I guess charity boils down to selfish reasons in the end. I volunteer, therefore I feel good. Simple enough. So it’s not just about that trend, but it’s helping our fellow man to better our mood…like earning brownie points on our own tab. Again, this “obvious” root varies in degree according to the individual. I love what I do here with FAR and I don’t view my internship as a monotonous job. It’s a learning experience for me and fulfills my selfish charitable needs.

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Credit: Tom Small via Creative Commons / Flickr

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