ChapterGram: February 2013
The Benefits of Volunteering
Kirk Fjetland (second from left) and other members of Chapter 237 volunteered to help with the maintenance and upkeep of EAA's B-17 Aluminum Overcast.
By Kirk Fjetland, former president of EAA Chapter 237 in Blaine, Minnesota
One of the best ways to make new aviation friends and strengthen existing relationships is to commit to a shared activity together. Volunteering is a great way to meet new people, especially if you are new to an area. This involvement can strengthen your ties to the community and broaden your support network, exposing you to people with common interests, neighborhood resources, and fun and fulfilling activities.
Volunteering is a fun and easy way to explore your interests and passions. Doing volunteer work that you find meaningful and interesting can be a relaxing and energizing escape from your day-to-day routine. It can also provide you with renewed creativity, motivation, and vision that can carry over into your personal and professional life.
You will have a richer and more enjoyable volunteering experience if you first take some time to identify your aviation goals and interests. Start by thinking about why you want to volunteer and what you would enjoy doing. Volunteer opportunities that match your goals and interests are likely to be the most fun and fulfilling for you.
Make sure the experience is right for your skills, goals, and the time you want to spend. If you have any questions, be sure to speak up. Consider starting small so that you don't overcommit yourself at first. Give yourself some flexibility to change your focus if needed. Speak up if your experience isn't what you expected. And most importantly, make sure you're having fun!
Some of the other benefits of volunteering include:
- Establishing important networking contacts
- Learning or developing new skills
- Teaching your skills to others
- Enhancing your résumé
- Gaining work experience
- Building self-esteem and self-confidence
- Improving your health
- Greater sense of self-worth and trust
- Conveying to others that you are ambitious and enthusiastic and care about the aviation community
- Making a difference in other people's lives
- Improving the likelihood that children will get involved in aviation volunteerism as an adult.