I am lucky enough to work at a company (Google) that values volunteering and actively works to encourage its employees to spend time helping other people. As such, I have been able to take part in a number of volunteer experiences. Often they are pretty standard—helping build a house or filling backpacks with school supplies. Sometimes they are a little bit dorkier—judging a computer science competition, running a hack-a-thon or even finding speakers for a local science fair.
To me, though, the best experiences have been the ones where I had a deeper connection and felt a personal responsibility to help. In that vein, one event stands out.
Help a Hero Get Hired: The one-day event focuses on helping service men and women trying to make the transition from life on active duty to the civilian world. More specifically, we help these men and women craft a resume that is written in the language that most people would understand. (Quick—do you know what “Daily briefing to the GO staff of OEF-A on OPSEC concerns relating to ongoing UBL Ops” really means? Do you think most people do?) And, while the day spent face to face was worthwhile in and of itself, most of the value was in the relationships it helped foster and the ongoing conversations between those of us already working in the private sector and those just about to join it. There is something amazing about seeing someone who has put his or her life on the line for all of us find a new home stateside.