Karen, no, you can't work for free here, it is not allowed and frankly also does not make any sense, but why not put your skills to good use AND earn so cash at the same time? If you absolutely want to turn your work into something other than money for yourself, you can always donate what you make to your favorite charity!
In addition to what Petra wrote, you can set your hourly fee to $3 and bid $5 on fixed price jobs, and after Upwork deducts its fee, there won't be much income to feel guilty about.
You have the following options:
- Work as a freelancer on Upwork FOR PAY. This may include working on fixed-price jobs that take you more time to do than the amont of time other freelancers might require. But the end result is the same, and the clients are paying you for the end result, regardless of the amount of time it takes.
- You may do volunteer work or send money to charitable organizations outside of Upwork.
- You may learn about Upwork and spend time answering questions and helping people in the Community Forum, which is something that benefits others, and is something Forum participants are not paid for.