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It’s good to volunteer

May 14th, 2008 / 5 Comments


If we were to count up volunteer hours in a community, I bet it would add to to an impressive amount.

Last Friday, I spent almost 4 hours at my daughter’s middle school selling food at their field day activities. There were more than a dozen of us parents helping out, some were there all day.

From sport coaches to room moms, parents put in a lot of their personal time. I know that many requests are made of us.

“Can you help out with selling t-shirts?”
“Would you mind coming early to set up the Book Fair?”
“Can you bring snacks for the team next week?”

Do those sound familiar?

I know there must be some kind of study correlating parent involvement and children success. But I don’t need statistics to tell me that when I am involved with the activities of my children, not only do my children benefit, but the community as a whole is a better place.

I have a friend who is so giving that she can always be depended on to help any where there is a need. She is a Girl Scout leader, babysits kids in the neighbor, and volunteers at the elementary school even after her kids have grown out of the school. I can’t begin to list all the help she gives to the community, to the church, and to the schools.

The benefit of all that is, her example is rubbing off on her children. Both her son and daughter are very involved with the children’s ministry at church. Not only her own children, but the lives of the children she touched is a legacy of her volunteer work. They all know Mrs. L– .

Here are some more reasons to volunteer:

1. Being around keeps your children accountable. They know you’ll see what they are doing.

2. Being around lets you see who your children’s friends are. If they are starting to run with the wrong crowd, you can intervene early before it gets too far.

3. Being around lets your children know that you care enough about what they do to do it with them. For some reason, our children love to have us participate. “Mom, Jump in the pool, the water is great.” That’s alright, I am having much more fun sitting in the shade. “Oh, come on, mom, we want you to swim with us.” But I don’t want to get my hair wet…O alright, I’ll just get my feet wet…

4. Being around protects your child. Would any bully mess with the room mom’s child? I don’t think so.

5. Being around keeps you young. We get to reminisce the good ol’ days, but from a better vantage point this time around. Us parents who hang around end up chatting about the crazy things we used to do when we were in school. Hilarious!

So when someone asks for help, be the first to raise your hand. “I’ll be there.”

What other benefits of volunteering have you experienced?

Photo by ctd 2005

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  1. I don’t know about the keeping me young part, because I’m exhausted from it all. But, I completely agree with the keeping them accountable stuff!

  2. I live my childhood again through my kids, except the body is not what it used to be. 🙂

  3. Too true. I love volunteering for Jacob’s classroom parties and joining in on all the fun. Especially seeing his face light up when Mom and lil’ bro walk in the room.

    Hubz ended up volunteering to coach little league this year (whoa – talk about parents who treat little league like day care – drop ’em off and go) which we were REALLY glad he did after finding none of the other parents were willing to step up. Or help with concessions. Or remember it was their day to bring snacks. Or even just practice with their kids at home.

    I volunteered for check-ins at JC’s last wrestling tournament – but that mean JC had 20 minutes to grab breakfast after weighing in, instead of the 75 minutes he actually had free, waiting for me.

    It was so funny – I love how he phrased this: “Mom, I wouldn’t be disappointed if you decided NOT to volunteer next time…”

    I volunteer for the kids, and if JC’s alright with me stepping back a bit, then that’s alright with me, too. 🙂

  4. […] Parent involvement is the number one factor in student success. […]

  5. […] a decision that I would be there at home when we have children. When our children started school, I volunteered at their schools as a room parent and on the PTA. My husband was in involved with my son’s […]


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