It's only $14.50 in some places. Yes, there is. People do all sorts of things for free. Or, they are paid in ways other than money - education, fun, accomplishment. Maybe. Why did you "help people every day for a year" and wind up with no food? Didn't you have a job or some source of reliable income? To be an effective volunteer, one must have the resources to help out for free. What about everyone else? Should no one volunteer their time, effort and know-how? Should everyone be paid for everything they do? The OP asked for volunteers. Anyone can say no. Yes, it does. Should VEs be paid? How about radio club officers? If someone asks a question here on the Zed, and I write an answer which solves their problem, should they have to pay me? Without volunteers, a lot of good things would just collapse.