How many of you Volunteer at your local school??

Jodi - posted on 08/07/2009 ( 9 moms have responded )

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I am just curious. I do voluntary work at our school canteen (I'd rather volunteer than see the funding directed away from educational resources). We have a paid canteen manager, but there are usually 2-3 volunteers rostered for each shift as well. Today, I was the only volunteer that showed up. That's right, there were a total of 6 volunteers on the roster over 2 shifts, and I was the only one that actually showed up. No phone calls, nothing.



It is my belief that I have an obligation to contribute to the school community. I work from home (yes, I do have a part-time income), have 2 bio children, 2 step-kids (they don't live her full time), and also help my husband with his business, but I feel that I still should contribute where I can, and when I make that commitment, I should treat it as if it were a job. I mean, we are talking once a month for this roster!!



So, I am just interested, because it is something I really question:



1. Do you volunteer to do work either in the community or at your kids schools

2. If you commit to a voluntry roster, do you call them if it is a problem? Do you think that people who don't call to give them a chance to make other arrangements are rude?

3. If you are a SAHM and have school age children but don't volunteer, why not?



I am not trying to say it is right or wrong, but I am sincerely interested in opinions.



I will give mine, given I am asking for yours - I have always either volunteered or provided donations to my kids schools (if I can't commit time we give donations through our businesses for services). I have always called them if I can't make it to my shift/commitment, and only an emergency will stop me.

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Kate CP - posted on 08/07/2009

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I donate my time as a professional to my daughter's school. I teach pet safety to the kids. I want to make sure they know how to approach a dog, to ask the owner first, how to behave around a dog, etc. I actually have a lot of fun when I give my lectures. The kids love seeing my big lug of a dog, Cooper. He's the one in my profile pic. :)

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I am a SAHM. I decided to quit my job of 7 years to be there for my kids as my husbands job takes him out of town. I volunteer for both schools on all field trips and field days. I don't feel I need to volunteer and certainly don't feel pressure to. I want to do it. Luckily, my oldest still wants me there at the trips, etc...

Traci - posted on 08/13/2009

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I volunteer whenever I can get a sitter for my younger two. I loved helping out last year in Kindergarten, I was a room mother and helped put on all the holiday parties for the kids. I'd be there more, but I can't always find someone to watch my 5 and 1 year old...

Lisa - posted on 08/13/2009

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For us having our children in a small catholic school it is in our financial contract to do 20 hrs of voulenteer work unless you opt out by pay $300.00.



We have to work 2 bingo, buy from 3 market day months etc....Plus I am the treasurer for our PTG.



There are definately the cliques which drive me up a wall. I love volunteering for the class parties.

Jodi - posted on 08/07/2009

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Thanks for the feedback. I think schools are finding it harder to get volunteers these days because we are all so busy, and more parents work now than they used to. In fact, in Australia, if you are middle income and want your family benefits, you are now required to go back to work at least 20 hours a week once your youngest is 6. And all of this makes it very difficult for schools. Many years ago, school canteens were operated as fully voluntary operations, now most of them have to pay a canteen manager to operate. It is at a point with my son's school in the senior school canteen (my son is still in the junior school) where they now have to pay a full time manager and full time assistant. This either adds to school fees, or, if it is a public school, redirects educational funding.

I know, for instance, that both the schools, every year without fail, have a Mother's Day stall, a Father's Day stall and a Christmas stall for the kids. They rely on donations of suitable gifts to sell to the kids so they can give something to their families. When I have some free time in the evening, after the kids go to bed, I make some gifts to contribute to these, and I do it throughout the year and put them aside so it isn't a stress at all. I also know they have school fetes. These things help pay for facilities at the school and ultimately help my kids.

Christina, I appreciate your post. I actually find volunteering very rewarding, and my kids love seeing me at school too :) It really is only a few hours here and there. I never overcommit.

Debbi, you are right, volunteers can be very clicky. But I have actually found it ok. I am not an avid volunteer, just try to do my bit. Our schools send home sheets for every time they need volunteers, rather than just signing up at the start of the year, and they take anyone they can get. The kids have a Walkathon coming up and they need 80 volunteers, for instance. That's a lot for a school with 380 kids. They probably won't get enough. Unfortunately, we will be on holidays, or I would have signed up to help them out at a checkpoint or something.

You know which are my favourite? Volunteering for the school excursions, LOL.

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With my first batch of kids (my youngest son is 25) I was in school more than the principle. LOL. I was very involved as class mother for all three, plus PTA both in the school and district wide. Now with my second batch of kids (adopted 8 year old and foster kids) I have signed up to volunteer every year for the past 3 years, but noone ever calls me to come and help. I have found the other volunteers very clicky. I hope I was not like that back in the day.

Christina - posted on 08/07/2009

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I just wanted to say thank you for helping me see an area that I can improve on. I preach to my children the importance of getting involved with the community and giving back, but thats about as far as it goes. I use the excuse that I am too busy and I sure I could think of a few more...this school year I am going to step up and take an active roll in my childrens education and volunteer my time. Thank you to the mothers and grandmothers who spend their valuable time helping my children in their educational setting...now its my turn to give back.

Isobel - posted on 08/07/2009

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Hi Jodi,

I'm actually a full-time student but luckily my hours are really flexible, so I try to get into the class room to help the teachers out with busy work once a week. i also try to make it to at least one field trip for each kid per year, and I run the lice checks at the beginning and middle of the year (I know you're jealous of that one ;))

I think if I couldn't make it, I would definitely call to let people know...and yes, I think leaving another volunteer in the lurch is definitely rude.

Jodi - posted on 08/07/2009

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That's great Kate :) I think volunteering is important, and our kids love to see us there too :)

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