“Tales from the iVolunteer Team” is an ongoing series of personal stories from the team that runs the Philippines’ first volunteerism portal. Today’s post comes from Carlo Angelo Gonzales, our social media guru in the iVolunteer Marketing team.
A laptop, a smartphone and an Internet connection.
These are things that I think are essential for one such as I who calls himself a social media consultant. I’ve been through many business meetings, lots of brainstorming sessions with entrepreneurs and have talked to clients abroad and locally about how they can leverage social media for their businesses.
Other than that, I figured, what else could I be?
I pondered on this question for many days early in 2012. And just a few months ago, I literally set at least 3 weeks for “contemplation”. I thought, there’s got to be something more that I can do besides helping businesses.
That’s when I thought about the legacy I’d be leaving when I die.
Will I be just another statistic? I’m sure my friends and family would remember me. But how about the world? Will an online campaign help, perhaps? Sounds a little selfish and self-righteous, I know. But I’ve got to admit, more than anything, I’d like to leave a mark – a good one.
After a brainstorming session with friends, I was able to pinpoint my passion – I was passionate about people, particularly for volunteers! I thought it out for a bit and, true enough, my history had “volunteer” written all over it. I used to be an altar boy for our local parish and I used to help in an organizational change company called OCCI. I had the ‘passion’ to help volunteers because I was a volunteer myself.
Maybe it was the company I kept, I thought – I had lots of volunteer friends in these places. Maybe they drove me to be a volunteer myself. But rather than looking at the external factors that influenced me to do these things, I looked at WHY I did it. From there, the word Legacy appeared in my head and everything just connected.
Now, I can proudly say that I’m making a difference. Other people may think that I’m wasting my time – that I could just donate my earnings to some local charity. I could do that, but I want to do more. Anyone can drop Php 5.00 in some beggar child’s cup, but not everyone will help him by physically bringing him to the DSWD. Anyone can choose to throw their garbage in a trash can, but not everyone has that willingness of going to the nearby coast and picking up trash on a weekend (when most would be taking the day off for some rest)!
My name is Carlo Angelo Gonzales, and I’m a social media guy. Take away the laptop, the smartphone, the Internet connection, and what does that make me?
I’m not sure I can answer with, “I’m still a strategist” though I’m pretty confident when I say that “I’m still a businessman”. But when it comes right down to it, I’m proud and I know, I am a volunteer by heart.
During the day, Carlo Angelo Gonzales works as a social media consultant for a number of clients, both local and foreign. In the evenings, he patrols the streets of Gotham City as a volunteer for iVolunteer Philippines and is our current guru for all things social. You can reach Carlo at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can pick his brain online at his blogs: http://carloangelogonzales.com and http://randomactsofheroism.com