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.
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.
For many, tax season is a chore and we are relieved that another April 15th has come and gone. For others, tax season is a time to celebrate the chance to help others. That’s right. For some United Way volunteers, January through mid-April is a time when they know that their volunteering is making a huge difference in the lives of struggling families. These volunteers signed up last fall to be part of the VITA program (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance), which helps low-income people receive the tax refunds they are due.
It’s National Volunteer Week in the U.S., April 15-21, 2012. This special week, established in 1974, is a time to celebrate, honor and thank millions of volunteers across the country for giving their time and talent to help so many. Volunteering is what makes our country strong.