can local businesses ethically accept volunteer help, are quick “thanks!” emails annoying, and more

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It’s four answers to four questions. Here we go…

1. Is it ethical to accept volunteer help at my local business?

Half a year ago, my husband and I started our own business, known in the gaming community as an FLGS (friendly local game shop). It’s as much a geeky community center as it is a retail outlet. We host daily events for the community and in a short time we have been fortunate enough to attract a friendly, enthusiastic and loyal player base.

Earlier this month, my husband unexpectedly passed away, leaving me as the sole owner and manager of our business. Determined to see our project through, I decided to keep the store going, and to my eternal gratitude the community stepped up in truly amazing ways. Many kind and talented people have kindly offered to volunteer for shifts and to run events, for which I am eternally grateful.

My issue is that I am a recent immigrant and not innately familiar with how the U.S. handles volunteer work like this. (I am rapidly learning, of course, but this period of my life is a whirlwind of thousands of unexpected learning experiences, and there are only so many hours in the day.)

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