Association Volunteers Support MLK Day of Service

Conservative estimates put the number of service projects on MLK Day of Service at more than 10,000.
From President Obama and his family to kids and their families at an elementary school in DC, people took a “day on not a day off”. Twitter crackled with news coming in from all parts about in impromptu and very-organized activities (follow #MLKDay).

One of aspects of this service that went unreported are the hours put in by association volunteers on the all-important business of their associations. I don’t mean in any way to discount the work of many for communities and charities, but I would like the shine a light on the thousands of volunteers who toil for their professional and trade associations.

These volunteers are doing important work that impacts many of us in ways we’ll never quite see. Association volunteers help develop and set standards that affect professions as diverse as medicine to computer languages to recycling. Association volunteers help enact laws and regulations that protect consumers. Association volunteers develop training and education programs that prepare professions to care for or minister to the public – think diabetes educators, radiological technicians, CPAs and massage therapists. Association volunteers produce books, magazine, research, wikis and so many other resources that the public taps to answer questions, to find solutions, and to make their lives better. Association volunteers mentor young people and older workers seeking career transitions to find employment and succeed in careers. Association volunteers perform thousands of hours of service to communities raising money for charities, doing service and supporting their schools.

Yesterday, just among my association management clients, I had members put in a full days’ worth of work. Five volunteers attended an important teleconference on responding to legislative agenda that will impact lives in North Carolina.  Others volunteers worked on shaping up training events for event professionals and one for PR professionals. Volunteers for the Maryland Recycling Network worked on a two professional development issues.

Over the course of just one month within the five associations that Mariner’s manages, our association volunteers will log no less than 250 volunteer hours. Some months this more than doubles.

So, association volunteers take a bow and then please keep on working – you are making a difference.