One of the most popular lifestyle choices for people in the 2020s is to do good deeds for others. It’s a positive social development in an era when economic and political woes dominate the 24-hour news cycle. But, just like everything else, random acts of kindness come with their own pros and cons. Indeed, individuals who are pondering one or another random acts of kindness would do well to evaluate the possible outcomes of their beneficial deeds. Whether your aim is to donate to a popular charity, cosign on someone’s student loan, or spend weekends working in a homeless shelter, take time to scrutinize the particulars of each option. Here are suggestions that can jumpstart your decision process.
Donating to Big Name Charitable Organizations
It’s safe to say that most working adults have at one time contributed money directly to major charities like the Red Cross, United Way Campaign, Salvation Army, and other household names in the non-profit universe. While nearly all the big name entities are honest and above board with their financial activities, many have substantial overhead costs. That means donors’ contributions get partially eaten up by management and similar expenses before trickling down to the truly needy.
Cosigning On a Student Loan
Every year, large numbers of adults consider whether to cosign on their child’s or someone else’s college loan. The act is a powerful way to assist a young person with getting money for a college education. However, saying yes too quickly could have a significant impact on your long-term financial health. If you’ve ever asked if you should or shouldn’t cosign on a loan, get answers to your questions before moving forward. Who doesn’t want to help their own child or family friend get approved for an education loan? The impulse to do so is strong, but it’s wise to research the topic and determine how a loan default or a few late payments by the original borrower can affect your good credit score.
Giving Money to Vagrants
There’s controversy surrounding the question of whether to give money to panhandlers and vagrants. Because there’s no way to know how they use the funds, the practice can work against the well-being of those who ask for financial help in public places, like service stations, convenience stores, and parks. What’s the answer? Think about the ways to relieve everyday stressors and consider offering food or other kinds of help. Sometimes, those who ask for small amounts of money just want bus fare or something to eat. It’s always possible to purchase a sandwich or public transport ticket and give it to a person in need. In general, the cons of giving cash to vagrants outweigh the pros.
Volunteering as an Academic Tutor
There are no significant downsides to working as an unpaid academic tutor. Most cities have a need for adult volunteers who can instruct classes in general subjects like basic reading, elementary math, English, and others. Prospective teachers should take time to schedule their lessons and not miss any sessions. Most of the students are either from financially disadvantaged families or new immigrants who need to learn conversational English. Social service agencies can connect volunteers with private schools, government agencies, public tutoring organizations, and other entities that specialize in assisting those who need educational instruction. In some cases you can even tutor online as a volunteer.
Working in a Homeless Shelter
There are homeless shelters and related facilities all over the country, and most are shorthanded. For those who want to do a good turn, it can be extremely rewarding to donate time to a local facility. Jobs are in every imaginable area, including food service, counseling, teaching, etc. Learn the details about any position that interests you and make sure you have the time and qualifications to take on the job. The benefits of volunteering include the chance to make their communities more responsive to social needs, an inner sense of accomplishment, and the potential to learn about life’s cold realities. On the downside, some positions in homeless shelters can be arduous because they demand physical labor or odd hours.