Volunteering constitutes one of the most important pro-social activities.nFollowing Adam Smith, helping others is the way to higher individual well-being. This viewncontrasts with the selfish utility maximizer who avoids costs from helping others. The twonrival views are studied empirically. We find robust evidence that volunteers are morensatisfied with their life than non-volunteers. Causality is addressed taking advantage of annatural experiment: the collapse of East Germany and its infrastructure of volunteering.nPeople who accidentally lost their opportunities for volunteering are compared to peoplenwho experienced no change in their volunteer status.