It would be nice to see something where a need was posted by governments and people from different parts of the world could sign up for that initiative. I personally have teaching skills and blacksmithing skills and would love to teach that abroad to common folk who have a real desire to learn that trade but are unable to afford a formal training environment.
The way I see charities today are often a disembodied entity that is results-oriented but disconnects the giver from the receiver. Sure a picture or a phone call helps but I feel so much less of an impact on my heart if I gave 500$ to a cause. I would rather spend a couple weeks to a month with willing students who learn the skills I can teach them and carry those skills with them for a lifetime.
I agree with that sentiment about being cheerful. I've been a volunteer for our Beaver Scouts locally in my hometown. After a year I felt drained because the team had been relying on me more than I had the will to realize my limits. I kept saying yes to everything and it was burning me out with all my other work. Eventually I stepped back as one of the support leaders rather than the main leader and my disposition changed. I made it less about me and allowed myself to focus on putting smiles on kids faces and strengthening them when tears came. I look forward to my Tuesdays with the kids now.
You really have to convince people that the need is there for that sense of fulfillment based on embracing altruism rather than taking the path of hedonism. You got so many people struggling these days being in the lower class, that they themselves want a taste of that luxury they could only dream about. Yet they have first-hand knowledge of what destitution is all about. It really does boil down to "do you want to give up your toys so you can feed somebody you'll never meet in a region of the world you'll never visit?" I know that seems cold and detached but it's the stark reality of life in a first world nation, a lot of people don't give two hoots about phantoms that nip at their conscience only when people bring it up as if the idea of helping people, rather than the self, should result in a big guilt trip. Yet we know collectively the middle and upper class make the biggest impact monetarily but its the top 5% of the world that own most of it. Your solution either lays in trying to convince a multitude to make a small effort, or several giants to finally buy into making the world a better place. To think that there are multiple billionaires in the world, yet it would only take a few of them to change the face of the planet.
This really boils down to, can you sell 'selflessness' as something worthy to strive for, over 'selfishness'.