NOTE #1: The best way to contact us about this is via our Volunteer Page, which has an information form you can complete. If you send me a tweet asking about this, I’ll end up asking you to do the same. We will get you in contact with the right people, IF POSSIBLE.
NOTE # 2: Since I published this post, we have received many emails. This is good and bad. Good that so many people are interested in volunteering. We are not a large organization with multiple staff, I’m it. I’m the staff. Which means, I’m the CEE, Chief of Everything in the Volunteer Coordination Department. Now that we are back in the US for the summer, managing life dramas, it’s taking me a bit longer to respond. Please don’t be discouraged, if you don’t hear from me right away. I will try my very best to respond to all emails. Right now, I have a lot of catching up to do! Thanks! (updated May 2011).
For Travel Tuesday!
When we came to Thailand, I had no idea I would become a self-designated “volunteer head-hunter.” I’m pretty good at the head hunting thing, as I did a lot of recruiting in my previous professional work years (Don’t gasp! You read correctly. I am a professional and managed a career that paid the bills. It’s true. Ask Bubba!) I knew I’d do well to contribute to the community here, but had no idea this would be part of it.
I’m not complaining at all. I simply LOVE it.
I love that things just fell into place, like its meant to be. There are many other things I am doing behind the scenes for organizations, and I enjoy all that as well. I particularly enjoy being able to pair local organizations with talented, committed and passionate individuals. I get to meet, connect, network and bridge people to do what they enjoy doing; thus creating so many positive ripple effects from their lives to those they are helping or teaching. How can I not love that!
For example, I was able to connect two of my Twitter acquaintances, who eventually became great friends, Bessie of @OurOwnPath, and Sally of @UnbraveGirl, to teaching gigs with two local organizations. One of our new neighbors, a retired American, is now considering teaching Math at yet another organization. Another American, with whom we’ve become good friends with, has been teaching Math and will continue to do so indefinitely. I LOVE it. That’s just the beginning!
Lives will be touched. Life-long friendships will be formed.
I cannot imagine a more rewarding volunteer experience than connecting and bridging people (Side Note: Bubba just informed me that “Connecting People” is Nokia’s slogan. Such a geek).
I evaluate organizations ‘endorsed’ by us here in Chiang Mai by meeting with those who are in charge of them.
I write about volunteer needs: I Facebook it, I Tweet it and hope, pray and beg that other like-minded people would help me RETWEET and SHARE the heck out of it too, to help me find qualified peeps to do more good.
I DO NOT CHARGE for my services.
I’m also NOT compensated by the organizations I help.
For you as a volunteer, getting in the door is the first step. Once you’re in and are connected, what you do for the organization is up to both parties. You will have to prove to them that you are willing, able, reliable and committed. It’s a mutually beneficial relationship. We call it ‘Win-Win!’
You’ll have choices of volunteer jobs (and possibly paid jobs) here in Southeast Asia. You’ll be pinching yourself wondering how the heck this happened. That’s what I do everyday!
For now, we have access to long-term opportunities only. Long-term = at least 2-3 months and in some cases, up to a year or longer. We’ are working on identifying short-term opportunities.
If you are planning on being in this part of the world anyway, and wherever you go you’ll need a living expense budget. Right? RIGHT! In Asia, as most travelers know, it is much cheaper than the west. So if you have the plane ticket, the living expenses figured-out and want to do volunteer work, it can happen.
If you’re coming to Chiang Mai, be sure to look up Team Chiang Mai on Facebook! We’re a fun bunch!
And here’s your chance to get in the door.
Join me and my family. Let’s “do good” together.
Message to M: “How wonderful it is that nobody need to wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” – Anne Frank
A small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has. -Margaret Mead
We Say NO to Status Quo.
Live Green. Live Small. Give Large. Take Little.
Take Notice. Take Action.