Do You Volunteer for an Organization or Cause?

I read this recent post, Making Your Passion a Higher Priority, and it hit close to home.

I have recently been asked to sit on the board of the young professionals chapter of my local chamber of commerce. I was flattered and immediately agreed. Not only do I believe in networking opportunities, I believe in my local business community.

Once a month I attend an hour-long meeting and help plan monthly, quarterly, and yearly activities. As the editor of a regional manager I feel it’s important for me to be involved in the community. But I was worried about how to fit my volunteer commitment into my work and personal life.

Luckily, my boss supports my appointment to the board as it helps promote our magazine to people who might be outside of our demographic. He’s been a local business owner for over 15 years and knows how important it is to get young people involved in the community. Plus I already attend chamber events anyway—now I get to have a say in how they’re organized and promoted.

I’ve also found that no only have I met a bunch of up and coming young business people that I’d only heard about, I’ve made some new friends and business contacts in the process. And since it’s a group made up of young professionals, most of the planning and events happen after the work day so no one has to ask for time off.

Do you volunteer for an organization or a cause? How do you manage your time?

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Melanie Brooks has written for newspapers, magazines, blogs, and websites from Maine to New Jersey. She currently works as an editor for Bangor Metro and Maine Ahead magazines.


  1. Vinny on the 16th September

    I’ve been involved in many volunteer organizations while balancing work. The most recent organization I have joined is my local American Red Cross chapter.

  2. Mimi on the 16th September

    Time management is easy once you really put your heart into it. I volunteer to organize cultural events for Tanglaw ( on weekends, and it’s been really worthwhile if you think of the intangible value you contribute to others. Somehow, even though you know your beloved day job can help make the world better, anyone can use some speeding up with volunteer work.

    After all, even though young professionals are concerned about rest and whether or not they get enough of it, rest is really just a change of activity.

  3. Jessica Bosari on the 16th September

    I help a cancer family with editing and posting blog entries. I also try to spread the word when I can in social media. Tyler Tucker is a 9-year-old survivor of an exceptionally rare and usually deadly cancer. He recently underwent his 43rd surgery as doctors try to piece his frail body together after the devastation left by both the cancer and the chemotherapy. Tyler’s my hero. I hope you can help:

    As far as managing time, I try to get to editing and posting for the family right away. But such a small job only takes a few minutes. I can usually put Tyler first, but occasionally it has to wait.

    The toughest part of the job is that there are no shortcuts. I’m so used to finding ways to just whip things up to get them done and move on, but Tyler’s work takes time with a lot of corrections and rewording. His grandmother texts the posts to me, so they are kind of messy when I get them. But I don’t mind. A few minutes of my time helps them stay in touch with the community that supports them. Hours would be a bit harder to arrange.

    • CaptainCare on the 20th September

      I’ll be thinking about Tyler on my run in the New York City Marathon!

  4. Ana da Silva on the 17th September

    I’m part of pools of volunteer translators for a few organizations. When there are assignments available I receive an email and if I can commit time I take an assignment otherwise I can pass on the assignment.

  5. Jay Meany on the 17th September

    This is really important to serve both locally and globally.

    It’s part of my personal mission statement so as a web dev I’ve worked it into my company portfolio and have been fortunate to have worked on some interesting global initiatives.

    Being a cyclist locally, I work with Yellowbike Austin on a pro bono basis, helping them with their web presence and whatnot.

    It’s an idealistic thing and the reward is not always immediately obvious but it is always inevitable.

  6. Sara on the 18th September

    Glad my post inspired you, Melanie!

  7. Sara on the 18th September

    Glad my post motivated you, Melanie!

    I think that finding your passion, whether it’s volunteering for a cause that’s important to you, a side business that you hope to make a full-time venture, or simply a hobby you care about, is vital for work/life balance. It’s sometimes hard to find the time for it all, but well worth the effort when you do!

  8. Nicholas Volpe on the 20th September

    I work with an organization called CancerCare who provides free, professional support services to anyone affected by cancer. I am organizing an awareness campaign for them called CaptainCare ( Also spreading the word about skin cancer at

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