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August 2018 Leadership Corner

Thursday, August 9, 2018   (0 Comments)
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Sharon Collins, CMP, CMM, DES
Managing Director, Meetings & Travel Management
American Cancer Society, Inc.
Member since: 20

Volunteer Power

As I begin my board position with MPI Georgia, I am reminded of the power of volunteerism. In my day job, I am privileged to interact with volunteers. The American Cancer Society (ACS) has a global grassroots force of nearly two million volunteers dedicated to leading the fight for a world without cancer. And to help this workforce of volunteers, our staff works to empower these volunteers who make a real difference by contributing to the goals and efforts of ACS activities.

According to the Corporation for National and Community Service, about 64.5 million Americans gave 7.9 billion hours of volunteer service. The article states that volunteering is generally considered an altruistic activity where an individual or group provides services for no financial or social gain "to benefit another person, group or organization." Volunteering is also renowned for skill development and is often intended to promote goodness or to improve human quality of life. Volunteering may have positive benefits for the volunteer in addition to the person or community served. I would say we can call it a win-win.

So back to my MPI Georgia board position. I am very excited to serve with such an amazing group of industry professionals. Our vision is to be the most highly regarded meeting industry association in the Southeast – in the eyes of planners, suppliers, and the community at large. Our goal is to provide innovative education, networking, and professional development to increase the professional value for all involved. However, the chapter can only be successful through the contributions of a vast number of volunteers. There are so many opportunities for members to find their niche and fulfill their passions. Let’s discover – together – how rewarding it is to be a volunteer.

What is volunteering?  
In searching for a definition, a whole Wikipedia page exists that outlines the history, word origin, and meaning of volunteering. The first use of the word was around 1600 from the French word voluntaire: "one who offers himself for military service.” As time went on, people became aware that they could join causes to help those in need.

Some organizations such as Kiwanis, Junior League, Lions Clubs, YMCA, Salvation Army and the Red Cross date back to the 19th and early 20th centuries. Newer ways to volunteer that are attractive to Millennials include volunteering in developing countries, volunteering in an emergency, virtual volunteering, micro-volunteering and environmental volunteering. It’s helpful to know that colleges and universities are weighing levels of volunteerism in their decisions to accept of future students.

If you are interested in getting more involved in our various chapter initiatives, I encourage you to reach out toJeff Hollandof Monalto Corporate Events. In his volunteer position with the Membership Committee, he connects new members to chapter leaders with similar interests. Coincidently, another team member at Monalto is seeking volunteers for the Strategic Events Committee to lead the 2019 Tech Summit and Phoenix Awards. Perhaps now’s the time for you to get involved with MPI Georgia through educational programs, strategic events, or other volunteer roles.

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