If you haven't heard, COOL is AOTA's volunteer database that you can sign up for online. COOL stands for "Coordinated Online Opportunities for Leadership" and lets you identify your areas of expertise and interest. Then you can enter how much time you could be available for. AOTA staff and SIS chairs can then access this information to find fresh new volunteers for their projects.
I think that COOL is a good thing for several reasons. First off, when you are young in the profession, you don't know a lot of people. When you talk with the people who have achieved various positions of leadership, they always say that they got started by knowing someone who invited them to do something little first, and then over time they took on more responsibility until they achieved their current position of awesomeness. But it seems insurmountable when you don't know many people. And I remember being very frustrated because I had time and interest to give, and no way to give it. (I still get this way sometimes, but not often). So COOL allows you to get connected before you make those personal connections.
Another of the benefits to COOL is that having a wider pool of volunteers means that no one gets overused and burned out. Also, you can get introduced to opportunities that you would not have thought of before. This isn't signing up for a lifetime commitment, just offering to be potentially available in the future.
One of the COOL things that I got to participate in was review submissions for this year's AOTA conference. It was simple and done all online, but it was kind of fun to get to feel like I was a part of making conference happen. Have you done a COOL job? Are you willing to sign up? It will take you a lot less time to sign up than to read this whole post, that's for sure!