You Want Me to Pay for WHAT?

A great American attribute is optimism.  The families in our neighborhood love to raise money for the local schools and playgrounds.  They host fundraisers, donate money and volunteer their time and energy to pull weeds from the nursery school garden.

But the cynicism I picked up in Britain makes me ask where the $20,000 plus taxes Atlanta residents pay go, if not to improve schools and playgrounds?

In London, I didn’t know anyone who performed regular community service.  Once a year, colleagues would participate in a company organized volunteer day.  That usually involved heavy weeding, painting, and other unglamorous tasks at playgrounds or schools. My cynical colleagues come back muttering that they were doing the local government’s job, for free.

Here, people seem to throw themselves into volunteer projects with gusto, without asking whose job it should be to do it.  So maybe the Americans are getting taken advantage of a little bit, but at least they’re happy about it.

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