Giving Expertise

The new volunteers: more than envelope stuffers

When a call goes out for volunteers for a good cause, Pamela Ramsden shows up. But this administrator at Episcopal Church headquarters in New York City has become irritated with some charity organizers. On one cleanup day, for example, nobody could find the paintbrushes, and everyone sat around eating bagels and chatting. "You want me to clean the bathrooms?" Ramsden asked impatiently. "O.K., but be sure you have the damn bucket here and don't waste my time. I have better things to do."

Ramsden, 61, is typical of many boomers and preboomers. They want to help make a better world, but...

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