Monday, January 17, 2011

Volunteer Leader Opportunity

Over the past year, I have had the pleasure to serve as CVN’s Monthly Volunteer Committee (MVC) Chair overseeing our one-time volunteer events. I would like to share my experience with you in the hope that you might decide to get involved with the Monthly Volunteering Committee as a Lead or as the new Monthly Volunteer Chair.

I came into this position hoping to learn more about Arlington County, gain real experience planning and executing volunteer events, and to meet lots of interesting and kind people. Luckily, I was able to do all of these things.

Learning about Arlington – As MVC, I was able to interact with dozens of non-profits serving the Arlington community. Each time I communicated with these non-profit leaders or attended a volunteer event, I was able to learn about the work that they do and how they address a particular need in Arlington. For instance, I started the position thinking that homelessness was a D.C. problem that didn’t really affect Arlington. Through working with the Arlington Street People’s Assistance Network (A-SPAN), I learned that there are many Arlingtonians in need of a home and was able to provide help: whether through direct service at the Emergency Winter Shelter or by helping raise money at A-SPAN’s annual fundraising gala. I also learned about gang prevention activities, enrichment activities for individuals with disabilities, Arlington’s emergency preparedness efforts, and efforts to clean-up Arlington’s environment. Each of these experiences has given me a better understanding of Arlington and armed me with the knowledge to make a greater impact on the community.

Volunteer event planning – Before serving as MVC, I had little experience planning volunteer events and my level of confidence in this area was shaky at best. However, with help from the rest of the CVN leadership team, I was able to quickly learn best practices for planning and executing volunteer events which eventually enabled me to help train other volunteer leaders. I feel very confident now in my ability to manage large groups of volunteers in sometimes challenging and stressful situations. CVN does a great job giving new leaders the support and help they need to rise to the occasion and help empower new leaders.

Meeting great people – Lastly, although I am stepping down from a leadership team position for the time being, I am very grateful to have met and worked with such a great cohort of individuals both on the leadership team and the Monthly Volunteering Committee. Additionally, I was able to meet and get to know so many kind and thoughtful people at meet-ups and volunteer events. CVN is made up of so many inspiring people who give up their time to make a difference and I am so glad I had the opportunity to work along side them.

If you have read this far, I really encourage you to consider getting involved in CVN’s monthly volunteer events as a leader; whether as the Monthly Volunteer Chair for 2011, a member of the Monthly Volunteering Committee, or as the leader for a volunteer event of interest to you. There are so many exciting possibilities within CVN to make a difference, learn about your community, gain real experience, and meet awesome people and I hope you will take advantage of them.

If you have any questions or would like to get more involved, please email or come to a meet-up and talk to a leadership team member.


Kellen MacBeth

Former Monthly Volunteer Chair

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