Volunteering - why do I do it?

Last night I had 3 hours, plus a bit more, to kill while waiting in the Pierre Elliott Trudeau airport in Montreal for my flight back to Moncton.  I had gotten up at 4am the day before to fly to Ottawa for real estate meetings and here it was, after 9 pm the next day - and I volunteered to do this to myself.  Duh!

I have done a lot of volunteering over the past 25 years.  I was a Cub leader when my boys were that age, hockey coach for 13 seasons and counting, and I've been on and/or chaired every committee at the Great Moncton Real Estate Board, and I'm currently Past President.  I'm also 1st VP of the Provincial Board and sat on or chaired some committees there as well.  You can see on my web site bio some of the other areas I've volunteered for over the years. 

One thing I've discovered, and I suspect that is why I keep doing it, is that I always get more out than I put in.  I know that sounds pretty corny but it's true.  Take for example the meetings I just attended.  I spent 2 days meeting with 40 of the most influencing real estate people in Canada.  In attendence were the President, Past President, President elect, 1st VP and CEO of the Canadian Real Estate Association(CREA), plus the President's and EO's of all the Provincial Real Estate Boards in Canada.  With the exception of the EO's all these men and women are every day REALTORs volunteering their time to try to make things better for the 100,000 members of CREA.  Every time I go to one of these meetings I learn a lot about this industry and how things work outside of NB.  I think all of this makes me a better REALTOR and benefits my clients.

I discovered that this is where social media meets real life as well.  I had two people, neither of whom I had never met, come up and tell me that they follow me on Twitter and enjoy my tweets.  That had never happened to me before.  Made me fell good about it actually.  Someone out there enjoyed what I posted.  For a writer there are no sweeter words!

Anyway, if you are thinking about doing some volunteering, don't think anymore about it and go do it.  There are hundreds of great organizations that need your help.  It beats the hell out of what's on TV during the evenings.

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