The one thing I have learned over the past years is that the genealogy community is a very giving community. I once had a discussion with my MIL about how I found someone to translate some Russian emails for me, for free (thanks Thomas MacEntee for coordinating that for me). She could not believe that someone I have never met was willing to take time out of their day to translate these emails so that I could continue my research on my MIL’s Russian line. We have always been told it is better to give than to receive, and I truly believe that. Do you give back to the community?
Since my kids were little and active in many different things, I have volunteered my time. Then, it was because I wanted to know who was in contact with my child. Call me overprotective, but I needed to be a part of everything; girl scouts, boy scouts, and cheerleading. When my youngest daughter played baseball, I sent my son to assist the coach. We were always there.
With genealogy I have done small amounts of giving back over the years. I administer a few message boards on ancestry (and have for a few years), I volunteered with the IL State Genealogical Society a few years back, but I had to stop because I was having bad health issues. Last year, I decided it was time to move forward with the volunteering again.
I started with volunteering at the Irish American Heritage Center; I am co-chairing the Genealogy Fest. This is going to be a fun event and I will share more information as we get closer to it.
I also started attending the meetings for the Chicago Genealogical Society and told their President that if they needed assistance with anything to let me know. At the end of the year they had a position open and I was more than happy to take it over. It is by no means a big job, but it is a position that I can do and maybe move on to something else later.
At the Irish American Heritage Center, I attended an event for Ireland Reaching Out. I was very impressed with their program and have volunteered to work on that as well. I will be helping to create content for the area my great-great grandfather was from.
Yesterday, I accepted a position with the Illinois State Genealogical Society as the membership chair. I am excited about getting more involved the State society this year. Also, it is great to be able to do this with friends.
When you look at everything together, it seems like a lot. But, when you split it all up it is not so much. I guess we will see how the year progresses.
Do you volunteer? Share with us your volunteer commitments.