For many years, I engaged in volunteer efforts relating to community life (sports teams, park preservation, school activities, local governance, etc.). I also accumulated numerous volunteer hours in state and national political campaigns, including as an elected delegate to the 2008 national Democratic convention.
My father had been a volunteer at the local veteran’s hospital. In his memory, and because I liked playing drums, I marched many miles over many years in numerous cities and states as a volunteer member of an American Legion marching band. And every month, over my most recent tenure in state service, I volunteered to serve lunch to homeless veterans.
For a number of years, my wife and I volunteered as host parents for Chinese and Iraqi high school exchange students. I often initiated and led tours of courts, state houses, and city halls as part of an introduction to American jurisprudence and political institutions.
In addition to my professional services, I often volunteered in various courts mediating matters scheduled for trial. Many of the litigants did not have attorneys or were otherwise ill equipped or underserved. I also trained numerous attorneys, law school students, as well as high school students, in mediation.
This past year, my family and I traveled to Malawi and volunteered to renovate a public school. I continue to volunteer for an organization providing material support to a health care clinic I visited in Malawi, named in honor of the founder’s son who tragically drowned in Lake Malawi. [Read: This Is Paradise by Suzanne Strempek Shea (PFP Publishing) 2014].
Having recently relocated, I presently volunteer on boards servicing youth in my new community, many of whom live in foster care. Part of my volunteer efforts includes serving on a restorative justice panel attached to the county juvenile court, as well as sitting on the District Attorney’s Citizens Advisory Board, the city’s healthy youth coalition, and the board of the Treehouse Foundation, whose re-envisioning of foster care was recently featured in a front page article in the Boston Globe.