My Thoughts So Far
Ever since I was a little kid in school back in Sri Lanka, I liked volunteering for various causes. Doing things that may take just a little effort on your part but has the potential to mean something a lot more to somebody else is a very rewarding experience. Later on while in high school in Italy, my interest in doing good grew with me. From raising money to help displaced kids during the crisis in Bosnia, to teaching computer skills to refugees in Rome, I learned that even just the simple gesture of acknowledging and showing you understand somebody else's need can go a long way.
Here in California I'm fortunate enough to work for a company like Adobe that highly encourages its employees to participate in volunteer activities. I was also happy to be a launch member of it's internal pro-bono initiative that matches employees with skilled volunteering opportunities. From helping kids learn design skills with Interact Project to promoting the importance of clean drinking water with the Blue Planet / Thrive Network, to preserving endangered languages with the Long Now Foundation, serving dinner at the ECS shelter for the homeless, helping skilled immigrants polish up their job seeking skills with Upwardly Global or protecting endangered species with lasers and drones for the Hard Shell Labs, my experience with hands on volunteering helped me expand my view of the world tremendously. Among all these and many other organizations, my involvement with Kids and Art has been one of the most gratifying ways to spend my free time. All these experiences helped me gain enough confidence to join the board of a local arts non-profit in San Francisco - CounterPulse.org - that help risk taking artists who take unconventional approaches to expressing their views and spreading socially relevant messages.
Nobody likes cancer. Nobody wants to talk about it. But when you step into a Kids and Art workshop, you don't think about any of it. It's all about Kids being kids. Living in the moment, enjoying and exploring something delightful and inspiring. I highly recommend volunteering for them as an artist, or even just helping out with many little things that go into making these events a success.
If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me on twitter
P.S. Thank You Kids and Art for doing what you do and thank you Kids and Art volunteers and supporters for making it a meaningful experience for everybody. ( Below is a lantern I handcrafted during a special volunteer appreciation event hosted by Pinterest )