I have always enjoyed volunteer work. Currently I help out pro bono at a local Catholic church for a weekend Mass. Money is not abundant there, but the church is a little jewel and the pastor and I get along well. The organ is old and, let’s face it, tired, but it is a pleasure to bring music to the church.
I have served the American Guild of Organists for many years as well, in a variety of roles from chapter to national. This work–newsletter, website, chapter officer, dean, committee “adjunct,” full member, and director, and as writer and reviewer–is very fulfilling.
To volunteer, pitch in and fit in. Don’t exact a moral or spiritual price, because that is no longer truly volunteering. Yes, you’re unique and can shape the niche you occupy; that’s a given. But remember: other people get their niches too. Even yours truly.