A recurring theme of many schools is that the number of parent volunteers has decreased over the years. The most common excuses are that the parents work full time or that they are not available because their kids participate in extracurricular activities after school. These are true statements, but with smartphones and businesses going paperless, almost any task can be completed on a lunch break or while sitting at soccer practice. The real problem is not our culture of hyper-busy schedules, but the reduction in the sense of the need to volunteer, urgency of why to volunteer now instead of later in life when schedules open up, and understanding of the benefits gained from volunteering.
Volunteering takes heart as well as the realization of the Law of Cause and Effect. For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Basically, the more heart and energy you invest in an organization or relationship, the more you will get out of it.
On a global scale, for many schools the PTA/PTO/PTC’s pay for librarians, technology labs and equipment, art and music programs, student enrichment workshops, PE teachers, supplemental classroom supplies, reading specialists, and family fun events. The more volunteers your school has, the more access your child will have to these programs. The more access your child has to these programs, the more time and energy they invest in their school so the more they will benefit – Law of Cause and Effect.
On a personal level, there are many benefits to volunteering, such as the satisfaction of knowing you made a difference, gained skills, new friendships, etc. But what is most important when we are talking about volunteering in schools, is modeling for children so they understand the value of community service: making a community a better place through their own efforts. Teaching children to be less self-absorbed and feel more connected to the world around them helps them learn empathy and empowerment knowing that they can make a difference in the world by committing to projects larger than themselves.
If you need more reasons to digest yourself or to share with parents or children, volunteering helps the following:
- Spread resources around so more programs can be implemented
- Gain personal experience and discover hidden talents
- Gain leadership skills
- Bring people with diverse backgrounds together working toward a common goal
- Develop new friendships
- Promote personal growth and self-esteem
- Strengthen community through support
- The feeling of pride and accomplishment knowing that you made a difference
- Increase knowledge of local resources, organizations and functions of governments
- Reduce workload of individuals volunteering. Every person counts no matter how small or large the task!
If your school is planning a fundraiser or family fun event requiring volunteers, contact Fun Services for ideas of how to pull from local resources to increase volunteers. Fun Services coordinates over 1,000 events a year for schools and organizations with limited to extensive volunteers and can share tips used by other organizations. Call 800-300-6380 and talk with an event specialist.