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.
July 18 is Nelson Mandela Day – when we’re asked to spend 67 minutes in service in honor of Nelson Mandela’s 67 years of fighting for human rights. The concept is the same as United Way’s Day of Action (June 21) and International Volunteer Day (December 5) and many other days United Ways participate in: choose a meaningful day and issue a call to volunteer on that day.
As I write this we’re expecting our 6th day of 100 degrees or warmer this summer – part of a nationwide heat wave. Appropriately enough, NBC Nightly News recently reported on the 110th anniversary of the air conditioner and how it “changed our lives forever.”
Father’s Day is coming up. No doubt lots of kids will be going on a special outing with their dad, or creating gifts, or even giving their father the old stand-by gift, a necktie. But since so many children don’t have the means to celebrate like this with their fathers, United Way of Northern New Jersey hosts an annual gift drive.
For lots of families like mine, it is graduation season. This can be such a joyful time for the students and their families alike. I am so proud and grateful that my son is graduating from high school and looking forward to attending college. I also am grateful that my son had not only my husband and me to help him work hard to succeed in school, but also wonderful teachers, coaches, and other adult mentors.