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As a UG Leader I know only too well the "volunteer" world. It is definitely not all "sweetness and light" but overall it provides an opportunity for personal satisfaction which is often hard to find in other ways.
It may be cliche to say it is about "giving something back" but for those of us who have been given the opportunity to do that, it is certainly part of the story. What better satisfaction is there than to know that others have given you that respect and trust?
A few days ago I was approached by the President of a local IT company asking if I could assist in finding some volunteer developers for a very worthwhile community project as part of their "Three Spheres of Reciprosity" program (http://www.jdq.com/3spheres). It suddenly struck me what a great position that a UG is in to try and do that. VANTUG has a fairly large email list (600+) which represents a huge diversity and depth of talent.
My appeal to our members was along the lines of volunteering is good for the "soul", getting a job and putting on your resume and I am pleased to say that we do have some candidates. This is one of those "win, win" situations. It may help the individual volunteers. I get to feel "good" (important to me:)) and the UG gets important positive publicity, which is always valuable from a sponsorship standpoint.
So why this blog? No it isn't to make me feel even better. It is to commend JDG for their efforts and to try and encourage more companies to do the same. I am quite sure that JDG also see it as a "win, win" since it must be great PR for them and at the same time they also get to feel "good".
So if you cannot muster all of the volunteer resources from within your own organization for a pro bono project, contact your local UG and ask them for help!
Graham JonesPresident, VANTUG