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From Working Remotely to Volunteering Remotely

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From Working Remotely to Volunteering Remotely

By Nihar Amin

Posted on: 27 June 2019
socialformers: our corporate social responsibility program

My work’s vision is to make the mobile world easier to use but I wanted to take that a step further. I am a member of the socialformers team where we work to help people (and ourselves) be the change they want to see in the world. socialformers is an employee-run program designed to inspire our team members to go out and help those around us. Our 2019 mission is to educate, establish , and execute service in order to build our roots deep within mobileforming and the surrounding community of Los Angeles. We aim to make the world better by providing assistance and encouragement through thoughtful service.

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The A-Team of socialformers

Working remotely turned into volunteering remotely 

My personal mission completely aligns with the mission of my company and its employee-run program. I want to be the change I wish to see in the world. I have been a remote employee for almost a year and am currently based out of Chicago. One day during our socialformers meeting, my inner voice suggested:

“Why not go out and join some volunteering events right here in Chicago, you do not have to fly out to Los Angeles just for that.”

That thought was so intense that I instantly jumped online and looked for ways to get involved with the community around me. I did not find any organizations that really captured my attention, and some of them were not accepting any new volunteers. I continued to look, and I finally found Volunteering Untapped Chicago.

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Volunteers outside of Beasley Academic Center in June 2019. Photo credit: Volunteering Untapped Chicago

Taking socialformers to Volunteering Untapped Chicago 

What’s Volunteering Untapped Chicago? What’s their mission? This organization realizes Chicago possesses individuals who care about communities and their talents have been underused. These individuals want to make a change, but they are not sure where to begin. That’s where this organization comes in; they help “untap” resources and opportunities in Chicago, so we can get out and volunteer. They tap into a huge pool of talented young professionals in Chicago. This organization encourages volunteers to tap into giving.

There was another reason why I decided to join Volunteering Untapped Chicago. After helping the community, we earn the right to tap beers at the bar. How cool is that?! We don’t call it volunteering, we call it #voluntbeering.

voluntbeering

Photo credit: Volunteering Untapped Chicago

I decided to sign up for an event that was on the June 8th at Beasley Academic Center. Everyone was friendly and welcoming, not even for a moment did I feel like I didn’t know anyone. I was grateful to be there with 72 other young professionals who were out there to make a difference in any way they could. There were multiple organizations present, and I got to pick one to join. I jumped on a wagon to paint the school hallways. I picked up a paint brush for the first time in my life (we will not talk about the part how i got my hands and clothes dirty). I was just happy to be there at that moment surrounded by such positive people who were hungry to make a difference.

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Painting the walls of the school hallway. Photo credit: Volunteering Untapped Chicago

I also participated in two other organizations that were present at Beasley Academic Center: Season to Soar and Amnesty International.

Season to Soar is an international organization that combats social and economic factors that hinder communities. Their areas of focus include poverty, education, institutionalized systems of oppression, and crisis situations.

Amnesty International is a global movement—independent of any political ideology—of over 7 million people who take injustice personally. They campaign for a world where human rights are enjoyed by all. I wrote a letter to help stop injustice to a family that is living under fear and threats. I felt called to pick up a pen and write a letter to stop injustice. I did not know if my voice alone could make a difference, but I knew I could be part of a collective voice that might.

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Getting mail ready. Photo credit: Volunteering Untapped Chicago

I was struggling to meet the right people in this city after moving here, but through volunteering, I met such amazing individuals who will turn into lifelong friends. They were giving it their all to make this world a better place; the positive energy was contagious. Working with Volunteering Untapped Chicago began to shift my perception towards how I look at this world and those around me. We are all human beings and we need to spread love, kindness, and a helping hand.

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To top things off, Volunteering Untapped Chicago also had a contest. Three people with cool Instagram stories would win a beer. I was one of the winners, but I decided not to hit the bars with everyone afterwards. I asked someone else to have my beer instead, and I will certainly be joining future events every second Saturday.