[ To Express, To Reflect, To Give Back ]

The pleasure of volunteering

Sunday, September 12th, 2010

Yesterday, I had the wonderful opportunity to volunteer with KaBOOM! to build a playground for kids at the raritan bay area YMCA. About 200+ MetLife employees volunteered alongside 100+ YMCA members and few KaBOOM folks worked from 6AM to 4PM to build a beautiful playground – literally out of an empty lot. I am humbled that I had the chance to play a small role in seeing this happen. Incidentally, the kids around this place were dreaming of a playgound and we made some dreams come true.

KaBOOM Volunteers Digging

The volunteer work involved a range of hands-on work from concrete mixing to digging to landscaping, gardening, assembling the play equipments to carrying dirt/mulch around. It was hard and tiring work but it was total fun to see the playground take shape right infront of us.

I try to do such volunteer work at least a few times a year. I pick a variety of projects to get different kinds of volunteer experiences and to keep me motivated.

FIRST Robotics

I still remember the wonderful experience I had helping kids out at the FIRST Robotics Competition. On another occasion, I had a chance to speak to middle school children about my job and what it means to build a career in my job. Thanks to MetLife Foundation, we get to know of such work and have a chance to give back to the community. I regularly do charity work through Feed the Children and Kiva.org, but nothing gives the pleasure of doing it all by myself. Money is probably easy to find than getting people to be there to give a helping hand and lean on.

The local news papers ran an article about it: Vision for playground becomes reality this weekend in Perth Amboy