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.
January is National Mentoring Month, but any time is a good time to remember an adult who made a difference in your life. When you were younger, did a teacher, a coach, or another adult give you confidence to succeed? Or perhaps, once you started working, was it a colleague who took an interest in your success? Take a moment to thank them, especially on January 16, 2014, which is Thank Your Mentor Day.
United Way issues the call early and often to everyone to “Volunteer” to promote education, income and health. United Way’s Education AmeriCorps VISTA Project is one example of how we also work with national partners and at the local level to make measurable progress in improving lives through volunteers that we train and support.
Thinking about making resolutions for 2014? We all know that many people resolve to improve themselves (e.g., lose weight, eat better), so I was surprised to learn that a University of Scranton study found that one of the most common resolutions is “help others in their dreams.”
Some family holiday traditions include serving meals to the needy, donating and distributing gifts and other kinds of volunteering. Volunteering is a great way for families to spend more time together during the holidays and throughout the year.
Recently I participated in the Emirates Foundation for Youth Development’s first ever Philanthropy Summit in Abu Dhabi. The summit brought together philanthropic, corporate and government representatives to learn from each other and debate how to better channel our collective resources to advance the common good.