William Shatner, Clare Kramer, Nick Brendan, Tony Todd－those are just a few of the names I happened to cross paths with over Labor Day weekend while volunteering at Dragon*Con. As part of the Media Relations team, I helped coordinate local media such as Fox 5 Atlanta, Imperial Trouble and the Backstage Beat as well as national media such as CNN Geek Out! Writing press releases, answering questions, processing badges and assisting in the interview room－I was able to give back to the community while immersed in a field in which I am passionate. The enthusiasm of my director, Dan Carroll, co-director and peers intensified the experience. The job satisfaction I experienced leaves me breathlessly waiting for next year.
What are you passionate about? Let’s face it; most of us are not passionate about our jobs. We do what we need to do in order to support our families. Volunteering is a method in which we can keep our daytime jobs and immerse ourselves in the things that we love. There is much more to volunteering than picking up trash on the side of the road or helping at your child’s school. Those things are very important, but there is a variety of opportunities to give back around us.
Love music? The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra utilizes volunteers as ushers. Dance aficionado? The Atlanta Ballet has opportunities in marketing, education and other areas. Art more your style? The High Museum seeks greeters and staffers for its information desk. If you have a love for animals, then Zoo Atlanta may be the right fit for you. Revel in the past? Many opportunities exist with the Southern Museum of Civil War & Locomotive History in Kennesaw. Nose always in a book? Try giving time at the .
Volunteering is a win-win for everyone. The organization benefits and so do you. Many costs associated with volunteering are tax-deductible. Check with your accountant for more information. Volunteer positions also provide networking and possible future job opportunities. Is your teen having a difficult time finding a job because she doesn’t have any experience? Volunteering counts as experience on most applications. Many volunteer coordinators regularly provide references to employers. Currently out of work? Volunteering is a great way for employers to know your personality, work ethic, name and face. When a paid position opens up, surely these things will prove beneficial in the application and interview process.
Patch is a strong supporter of local communities, loves volunteers and believes in giving back. If you are seeking a way to support your community, check our volunteer opportunity page. You can live your dream. When you volunteer in an area in which you are passionate, the job transforms from work into a reward.