Why you should volunteer for SSH > The Society for Simulation in Healthcare

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What do they want out of me?

It wasn’t too long after I joined my first associations about eight years ago that I received my first volunteer solicitations, and that was my flash reaction:

What do they want out of me?

That question, though, wasn’t because I was jaded or had a negative view of volunteering. It was history.

I was brand new to associations – both as a member and as a staff person – and the corporate world had engrained in my thinking that nobody in my offices ever asked for my service for reasons other than they needed a warm body to do their work.

So, while I mulled over the opportunity to join a committee (the thought of being able to influence the group’s forward plan in some way appealed to my leadership side), the question lurked in the back of my head.

5 Reasons Why You Should Volunteer

“People voluntarily join associations because they want to work together on a common cause or interest,” according to the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE). What sticks out to me in that is “work”.

Though some do, many members don’t join an association to passively watch from the sideline. They want to actively contribute through leadership, education steering, giving back in a mentor program, at events, or in other ways that fit their available time, energy, and talents.

The benefits from taking on an active volunteer role are tangible. Several years ago, Psychology Today offered five reasons why someone should volunteer. To summarize:

  1. Volunteers live longer and are healthier.
  2. Volunteering establishes strong relationships.
  3. Volunteering is good for your career.
  4. Volunteering is good for society.
  5. Volunteering gives you a sense of purpose.

As an association professional – one who has personally volunteered an increasing amount the past several years on committees, task forces, and elected board leadership – I know these things remain true today. And, I would be hard pressed to have found better uses of my time than spending it strengthening the groups with which I hold shared passions and beliefs. That service has resulted in a personal sense of pride and opportunities for professional development I would have not found elsewhere.

Your Turn – SSH Has a Place For You

So, yes, that question …

What do they want out of me?

It lingered for a long time. Sometimes, it still raises its head, if we’re being honest here. But, I’ve learned it wasn’t the right question then or now. Experiencing those benefits described above flipped my thinking around. It’s not what they wanted out of me … it’s how will this opportunity enrich me?

Thankfully, I didn’t let that first question stop me from answering those calls for service and reaping what has turned out some of the most rewarding time spent in my life.

So, on that note, SSH has open calls for service currently. Spots are open on the External Relations Committee, Internal Relations Committee, Media & Communications Committee, and Technology Committee. You can find information on all of those positions here.

Please do check them out and apply before Friday, March 5!

And, if you’re reading this and thinking it is time to join SSH for this or other great reasons like SSH’s exclusive resources, discounts to events including IMSH, and immediate access to an amazing, large peer network that includes many of the world’s best healthcare simulation minds, you can sign up new or extend your membership at a huge discount!

Email membership@ssih.org and tell them you want to take advantage of the extended SimSational Savings event. It only goes until Feb. 28, though, so email now, and we’ll see you soon!

Curtis Kitchen, CAE
SSH Director of Marketing

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