For the Love of Volunteering

By Sandra Moniz, CMP

Many of my most treasured friendships today were developed while volunteering. Back when I first joined a professional association volunteering was very encouraged and positioned as a great way of increasing connections and business opportunities. What occurred instead was far beyond what I could have imagined. Volunteering has helped me combat my fear of public speaking, practice writing skills and learn how to have honest conversations. Through volunteering, I have gained the privilege of mastering skills that I thought I’d only be able to obtain through professional institutes and designations. By actually ‘doing’, new skill sets have been added to my collection of talents, all thanks to making the time to give back.

These days, we are certainly challenged with less time to do more, as well as the constant quest to find the work/life balance we all strive for. When deciding to volunteer, we are helping others by giving our time and resources. You may even find that the love of volunteering becomes who you are, something that defines you. When we volunteer, we may see real change as a result of our efforts and we may even witness the effects our efforts have on others in our community. For me, volunteering is a way of life, as I have been giving back for as long as I can remember. Volunteering has always been a natural thing to do when asked, even if some of the tasks at hand were beyond my comprehension.

Giving back to a community or organization that has given so much to you and your industry allows you to meet and interact with many different types of people and develop an understanding for different ways of thinking. Taking on new challenges and learning different ways of getting things done, allows us to comprehend how others think and how the same success can be achieved even if the ‘how’ is different than the way you may have considering doing it. When you volunteer, you may notice that you feel fantastic afterwards. Maybe you saw a little boost in your mood, or you felt like part of a team. You definitely feel you made a difference.

Many of us volunteer for a variety of reasons. We may lend our time and support to a cause we feel passionate about or to engage with and give to our community. We often volunteer to help groups or individuals who need it the most without an expectation of a reward.  Lending our skill and talent through volunteering is also a tremendous way to fit in some physical activity. There are many organizations looking for interested persons to be runners, human arrows or floaters at a conference or show. Giving back while being physically fit is one of those great two-for-one reasons to volunteer. Consider making time in your busy lives to give back and make a difference. Why not start with CSAE Trillium and volunteer today!

Here’s a link on where you can learn more: http://www.csae.com/Portals/0/Chapter%20Home%20Page/Trillium/Library/CSAE%20Call%20For%20Volunteers%20Fillable%20form%20Complete_distributed.pdf

I volunteer because it makes a difference. Won’t you make a difference too?

Sandra Moniz, CMP, is the Business Development Manager, Eastern Canada for Meetings + Conventions Calgary. Sandra is also the vice-chair of the Forum Editorial Committee and a longtime, dedicated volunteer for the CSAE Trillium.