Mei Cobb is Senior Director, Volunteer & Employee Engagement at United Way Worldwide headquartered outside of Washington, DC. Prior to her work at United Way, Mei served as Senior Vice President for the Points of Light Foundation, founded in 1990 by former President George H.W. Bush. Mei led all programming and was in charge of Infrastructure Development & Delivery Systems. During her fifteen year tenure with the Foundation, her responsibilities included the development of and partnership with the 350 local affiliates of the Volunteer Center National Network.
In addition, her portfolio included corporate volunteering, youth and family volunteering, international and disaster volunteering. Mei is also a partner with VIP GlobalNet and an international consultant and trainer on volunteering. She is a strong advocate for the leadership role Volunteer Centers play to help impact serious social problems in local communities throughout the world. She has consulted, designed and conducted training in 21 countries on 6 continents. She most recently worked with the Emirates Foundation in the United Arab Emirates. Earlier in her career, Mei was Vice President, Volunteer Services at the United Way of San Diego County and worked at the United Way of Escambia County and the United Way of Greater Milwaukee.
United Way is always seeking ways to engage more volunteers. On July 15th President Barack Obama gave us and others in the volunteer sector reason to cheer when he not only honored former President George H.W. Bush for his exemplary lifetime of public service, but also issued a Presidential Memorandum aimed to expand national service.
Nelson Mandela once said, “What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead."
An email came across the other day with a subject line that read “Can Volunteering Help You with Your Job Search?” I knew that we all learn new skills through volunteering and certainly the connections we make can help lead us to future employment. But what I took as common knowledge hadn’t ever been proven, until now.
If you are part of a nonprofit organization or working on a community project, there is a good chance you spend a large percentage of your time looking for volunteers. As your organization expands, so does the need to find more volunteers. It's important to use every means possible to find people who are willing to join your mission.