Volunteering Can Actually Be Fun. Seriously. [Guest Post]

13 Feb

By Melissa Eigner

Corporate Volunteer Manager, The Dow Chemical Company
The United Way of Midland County

I’m not sure about you, but for me volunteering was something I was forced to do when I was growing up. My parents made me volunteer in the nursery at church, my high school made me volunteer to be in NHS, etc. I never really enjoyed it – it was just another thing that I HAD to do. (And no one likes doing something they HAVE to do, right?) It wasn’t until I accepted my current position as The Dow Chemical Corporate Volunteer Manager three years ago that I saw how awesome (and fun!) volunteering actually is.

Volunteering locally is a great way to get involved in your community and meet fun people!

Volunteering locally is a great way to get involved in your community and meet fun people!

So why volunteer? You probably already have hundreds of other things on your plate right now, why the heck add volunteering to it? Lucky for you, I’ve got all the answers right here.

  1. Meet New Friends – I ALWAYS hear people say, “Midland is boring. Where can I meet NEW people?” I’ll give you a hint. Hitting up the bar three times a week is not going to help you meet new and exciting people. Volunteer! At the very least you’ll meet new people who are good Samaritans like yourself! (Side note: Volunteering does, in fact, make you a good Samaritan)
  2.  Develop Job Skills & Explore Other Interests– No matter how fantastic your current job is, I’m pretty sure there are skills you are not using that you’d like to. Volunteering helps you sharpen these skills. And you might even have skills you don’t know about yet! (Maybe I’m a great painter… I just don’t know it yet!) (Doubt it)
  3.  Make a Difference – I mean, this is the obvious reason, but it’s still important to highlight. Not only will you accomplish bullets 1 & 2, but believe it or not, YOU can actually make a HUGE difference.

So how can you get involved? It’s got to be a super extensive, hard process, involving lots of paperwork, right?

WRONG!

Visit GOvolunteerNOW.org. Seriously. That’s it. That ONE website has TONS of volunteer opportunities nonprofits need filled. They post both ongoing volunteer opportunities and quick, onetime volunteer opportunities. If you see something that interests you you can sign up right on the site. You can also see a list of local nonprofit organizations by visiting www.macc.org/NonProfits.

So what are you waiting for? Go make some new friends, develop your skills and make a difference! (But only if you want to. This is not me forcing you to volunteer.)

Melissa Eigner

Melissa Eigner currently works for the United Way of Midland County as the Dow Chemical Corporate Volunteer Manager. In this position Melissa acts as a liaison between the United Way of Midland, Bay and Saginaw County and The Dow Chemical Company. Melissa received her Bachelor of Arts in Communications and Public Relations from Michigan State University in 2009 and is a graduate of both Leadership Bay County Class of 2011 and Leadership Midland Class of 2012. Melissa has an extensive volunteer background including projects with Habitat for Humanity, The National Junior Disability Championships, The Qualifier Marathon and The Alpha Race. Melissa currently lives in Midland with her goldendoodle, Torrey.

Eigner@dow.com
Melissa on LinkedIn
Melissa on Twitter

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