According to the National & Community Service Web site, www.nationalservice.gov/about/volunteering/benefits.asp, the benefits of volunteering are not only gaining pride, satisfaction, and accomplishment, but by volunteering we can solve problems, improve our communities and lives, and connect to others.
The National & Community Service research was documented in a paper titled, “The health benefits of volunteering,” which indicated how volunteering leads to better health. Their research also showed “that when individuals volunteer, they are more likely to live longer.”
So where can you with a technical or engineering background volunteer? There are many opportunities offered nationwide.
The annual Engineers Week (www.eweek.org) takes place February 14-20, 2010. The programs are designed to reach out to current and future generations of engineering talent. The organizers are always looking for engineers to get involved.
If you are an engineer working in the electrical/electronics industry, I would encourage you to consider volunteering for IEEE (www.ieee.org). There are so many opportunities within your local IEEE section, such as organizing meetings and conferences, becoming an officer for an IEEE Society, or maintaining Web sites. There are also opportunities to be involved in standards development, fund raising, education, and the development of new programs.
I have been involved with IEEE for the past 7 to 8 years and I have to say that I had the most enjoyable time with this organization when I started to volunteer for them. Not only has my own life improved, but throughout the years, I also met a lot of people from other chapters and we still keep in touch.
In addition, the FIRST Robotics competition (FRC) is preparing for another great season. Visit www.usfirst.org and join. The competition needs volunteers to make it happen. All events start at the beginning of 2010 with the championship slated for April 15-17, 2010.
Also VolunteerMatch (www.volunteermatch.org) is a national nonprofit network that has an easy-to-use search engine to find a way to make a difference by location, expertise, and availability. This site makes it easy to find science fairs or mentoring programs that are held locally in your area and need your help.
So no more excuses, get out and volunteer for a better life and a better community. I plan to continue posting volunteering opportunities on www.eebeat.com to make it easier for you. Also feel free to send me information of this kind as well so I can post it on the site.