Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A few weeks ago MVP (our young leadership group) had its first Cheers for Volunteers event of the season. The event was chaired by Andrea Berkman (in the picture sitting at the table up front) and after the event we asked her to share her thoughts. Here is what she had to say:

I recently became a member of MVP (Met Council’s Valuable Players); in fact, I believe I’m actually their rookie player right now. It’s a group that allows young people to volunteer their time in a more meaningful way by banding together to fight against poverty in New York City and the boroughs.

I actually got involved with Met Council through another organization – New York Cares – and have participated largely in the programs pertaining to Career Services and Job Readiness. This area is particularly interesting and important to me because I have been unemployed in my life and I can use that vantage point to bring myself closer to clients who are looking for work in this crazy New York environment.

Something new that I have started to do with MVP is Cheers for Volunteers. While helping people learn interview skills and how to network is gratifying – and ups my ever dwindling kitty of karma chips – it’s also nice to spend time with the other volunteers in an “off’ setting where we can all chat and spend time together in a less formal setting.

What could be better than drinks to get everyone chatty and bring a group closer together? Cheers for Volunteers is an event where people grab a drink and a bite after an event and socialize together. The chat can range from holiday plans and sports to topics pertaining to upcoming MVP event. It’s completely social and voluntary.

After my last Networking Workshop I, along with about 6 other volunteers and Met Council staff, went across the street for drinks and food. It was nice to engage with likeminded people who share a common goal of decreasing poverty in the city but not feel the need to spend the entire time discussing solutions to the problem in a formal setting.

The most special part of Cheers for Volunteers, at least for me, is knowing that I can surround myself with new people in New York whose common bond is the proactive way in which we chose to do something good and give of ourselves without seeming like yuppies or over-achieving-do-gooders. It’s something small, it’s something that isn’t time consuming, but it’s definitely something that will result in big changes for our community.

Join us! We would love to have you. Our next Cheers for Volunteers on Sunday December 11th is a Chanukah party for families that have been affected by domestic violence. If you are interested in signing up please e-mail sgreenberg@metcouncil.org

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