Volunteer? Or hang with the in-laws?

Photo from: http://bouchercon2008.blogspot.com/2008/08/of-volunteering.html

It’s no surprise that donations to charities decline in tough economic times. According to the National Philanthropic Trust, American giving reached a record high in 2007, with donations totaling $314 billion. Giving has since dropped by 2% to $308 billion in 2008. Two-thirds of charities saw drops in charitable giving in 2008.
OK, that’s still a lot of money. But it’s still not enough to meet the needs out there – for hungry Americans, abused and neglected children and animals, environmental stewardship and other causes that fall outside the attention span of our Greed-is-King culture.
The picture gets more frustrating when we consider this: In a study sponsored by Ronald McDonald House Charities, 93 percent of Americans surveyed believe it is important to promote volunteerism. But more than half (51 percent) said they’d rather read, watch TV or visit the in-laws than volunteer for charity. Only 55 percent of Americans volunteer.
The in laws? Really??
Whether or not you can afford to donate to a charity, find a cause and get involved! In almost every community in the U.S. volunteer opportunities abound. The gratification you feel will serve as more than ample reward for your time.