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Volunteering – Is it possible for a truly selfless act?

When we are doing something for others, something kind or helpful, is it ever truly for them alone or for the positive feeling it inevitably evokes in us when we do it?

Remember that episode of Friends? ‘The One Where Phoebe Hates PBS’ where Phoebe tries to convince Joey that it is possible for a truly selfless act and she ends up getting stung by bees and donating hundreds of dollars to prove the point. If you’ve seen it you know she inevitably fails to prove it, so I wonder if it is possible for a purely selfless human action.

Take volunteering for example. We intrinsically want to help others, those that are in need but when we volunteer is it selfless? I know for sure that when I volunteer, I always take a great deal of enjoyment from it and a sense of happiness because I know I may have helped or brought another some of that same happiness.

The fact that offers a great variety of volunteering activities that incorporate some of my favourite things, don’t help in making my actions any more selfless.

For example just last month, I helped The Real Junk Food Project Berlin in creating a dinner from rescued food items that would otherwise have been discarded and thrown away. We used all our creative juices to make a beautiful vegetarian feast from all sorts of rejected fruits & veg. It was a culinary melting pot with dishes ranging from Indian curries to ratatouille, Tzatziki to Israeli style hummus with mushrooms.

You also get to meet like-minded people that live in Berlin, so if you’re new to the city it’s a great way to feel part of a community in your new home.

The team from has made volunteering so easy to take part in, allowing you to engage in such fulfilling projects, that there really is no selfless act going on here.

Just fun times as you help others and help out in an activity that you feel passionately about whether that be food (as it is in my case), or art, sport etc.

So is there a truly selfless act out there? Probably not, and nor does it matter! If we can take part in something that will help others feel good and yourself at the same time, then that sounds like something we should all be doing, all the time.

So in a nutshell, you should get in touch with to take part in one of their many volunteering activities, you won’t regret it!

Hi, I’m Sam! In the spring of 2015 created Bite Berlin food tours in Berlin.

Born from a fervent passion for both history and food, it is now my job to take hungry visitors on a culinary trip through Berlin’s past and present.

Feeding people on the tours, cooking for friends at home, brings much nourishment to my life. Most of my waking hours (often sleeping too) revolve around food. Cooking it, sourcing it, talking about it, food is my life.

Though food tours are a great love of mine, in both giving and receiving them, when I started putting my tours together it was hard not to be struck by the privilege of it all. So it was important from the offset to give at least a little something back to the world such as donating to foodbanks or volunteering. 

I found online and was overwhelmed by the accessibility of their site and connecting the individual to a myriad of different volunteering projects and in seeing a kindred spirit in both our companies/ workplace, we have been friends ever since.

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