Volunteer Boom Becoming a Burden
Charities overwhelmed by would-be free workers
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Mar 16, 2009 9:48 AM CDT
Jane Elliott washes a homeless man's feet at the Common Ground Church in Atlanta, Monday, Jan. 5, 2009.    (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
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(Newser) – As more people lose jobs, they’ve got hours to fill—and many are turning to volunteer work, looking to do good and perhaps network, the New York Times reports. But organizations have been so flooded that many have had to put would-be helpers on waiting lists—and for some, it's becoming a burden. "The irony is that sometimes it’s almost more work to find something for a volunteer to do than to just turn them away," says the United Way's VP.

Smaller organizations often lack a volunteer coordinator, and many have had to cut back in the face of lighter donations. “Can you make them stop calling?” asked a nonprofit executive, who noted that “everybody’s inspired by Obama,” who has urged public service. "They also don't have any jobs."