So, why do people no longer volunteer like they used to? It is hard to say. People are busy with families and work. They are maybe more interested in making a few extra dollars because money is tight and they need that extra coin and just can't devote the time that maybe their parents would back in the day.
In my own case, I have had some really negative experiences with volunteering that have soured me on giving my time to some organization. When I am treated with disrespect, when I get the run around from someone, when I am either lied to or misled in some way, I tend not to want to help out those people in the future.
In the case of the tall ships, my experience with them last summer was so poor, so bad, so negative, that I don't even want to attend the next tall ships festival as a tourist. I'll spend that weekend in 2009 or 2010 at the cottage with a cold beverage and a warm kitty. You guys can go and be shepherded around and subjected to random security searches by overzealous so-and-so's. I'll think about you over that beverage.
As for the Buskers: I am not sure what to say. They broke my heart. I missed not seeing my buskers friends last year. It is highly unlikely that I will see them again. I am a little angry with a couple of the volunteer co-ordinators. One of them was charged with attempted murder a few years ago. I supported him during that ordeal, even after he was found guilty of a much reduced charge. I thought he was a good guy and in my corner. I guess I was wrong.
I still give my time to Operation Red Nose every year. Their volunteer co-ordinator is a woman to whom I find it very difficult to say no. Her husband is a nice fellow, too, and I'd volunteer for them again in a heartbeat. But that's about it.
Except for ORN, my volunteer days are just about over. Too much hassle, too much b.s., no appreciation.
It's taken me a long time to understand this, but there is a truism in life, an axiom that is difficult to overlook: No good deed goes unpunished.