It is tax time; your life and value are being quantified. What about the stuff you do for which you won’t get a W-2?
Estimates for the value of unpaid labor (read care giving, housework) in Canada are around $300 billion; based on population, you could assume a value 10 times that for the United States. In addition, more than 64 million people in the USA volunteer through organizations each year. Read more.
Imagine if people just stopped doing this unpaid stuff. What would our communities look like?
- Street gangs on corners (no scout leaders);
- Wandering Alzheimer-inflicted aged parents (no care givers);
- Teens unable to get into college (needed those PTA-sponsored enrichment programs);
- Chronic diseases remain uncured (who is doing the fundraising?);
- Homeless population explodes (no one to help at shelters and food banks);
- Rats over-run the town (women refuse to clean);
- Society dies out (no one raising children).
Okay, I exaggerate just the teensiest of bits. Yet there is a core of truth. People, including many women here in the South Hills, do a lot of things—for free—that make a huge difference to our lives.
Take as example the PTA at just one local school, Eisenhower Elementary in Upper St Clair. During the past 10 years they have provided more than $100,000 in educational technology gifts; many South Hills PTAs have made equally significant contributions. Chrissy Sileo, current PTA president at Eisenhower, wants disadvantaged districts to have that opportunity too; she is helping an inner-city school set up their own parent-teacher organization. Read the full story.
Speech Pathologist Gail Neustadt of Collier has led a lifetime of volunteering. She helped set up one of the first Adult Day Care centers in Pittsburgh. She literally wrote the manual on speech maintenance therapy for seniors; she has been active with the Alzheimer’s Association Board, Well Spouse, and the Rotary Club. Her professional skills used on a volunteer basis have added true quality of life value to our region. Read the full story.
Peters Township resident Tiffany Underwood has a personal reason to be a super fundraiser; her son was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at 6 months old. Her creativity and energy have brought over $150,000 to the CF Foundation’s search for a cure. The research to-date is extremely promising and the next dollar could make history. Read the story of Tiffany and other local women Christine Hestwood of USC and Debbie Webb of Bethel Park doing creative fundraising.
So give yourselves, and anyone you know who does unpaid work and volunteer time, a pat on the back. It is not reflected in the tax code, but the world would be far less marvelous without you.