A Volunteer

volunteers-601662_640A few weeks ago I had a conversation with my sister-in-law about volunteering.  We concluded that you either are a volunteer or you’re not.  Stay-at-home status versus work-outside the home career, a house-full of children or none; it doesn’t really matter because a volunteer is just something that you are.

And any volunteer will tell you that sometimes they wish they could just say “no!” and shirk the sign-up sheet but like a moth to a flame, it’s impossible.

September is looming.  I feel it.  I have already noted that my summer is half-way over and before I know it the weather will turn, the snack-packs will reclaim their front of the cupboard real-estate and I will sit down with “The Schedule” and shuffle swim times with soccer games and tumble tots.  Somehow everything will fall into place and within a few weeks we’ll run like a well-oiled machine from pool to field to court and back.

Every year when I organize the kids fall activities, I promise myself that this year I will stake those two precious hours from 9 am to 11 am to do whatever I want.  Focus on me.

Groceries be damned!

But those sign-up sheets get me every time!  Like an addict, I scrawl my name under bake-sales and fun fairs, class parent and field trips.

I try to live my life by following this simple rule: what you put in, you will get out.

Great communities don’t just happen.  Great schools just don’t happen.  In fact, very little of anything great “just happens”.

Although it sounds trite, I am happy to do my part because as much as I put in, I get so much more in return.

As this past school year was winding down, my six-year old came home from grade one and announced that he had volunteered to bring a snack tomorrow for his class party.

My head was swimming in the way that only a mother who is “limping across the finish line” knows and as much as I wanted to blurt out, “Why’d you do that!?  Don’t you see how crazy it is this week!?” it made me proud to know that my son is a volunteer.

He’s one of us.


10 thoughts on “A Volunteer

  1. So true! I see this a lot with parents when I’m on the road, especially if it’s the PTA that has hired me. This reminds me of a woman I met in Pennsylvania who was the PTA president for her daughter’s school. On top of scheduling my event for her oldest daughter’s middle school (where she was president), she also arranged events for the elementary school (where her youngest attended) and an evening event for parents. On top of making sure I had everything I needed over the course of the day- she was fielding phone calls, connecting with teachers and administrators- I was amazed!
    I’m also a sucker for a sign-up sheet. There’s just something that feels so good about being involved and doing something that helps others.
    Great entry- thank you for sharing!

  2. it is so important to be active and involved in your child’s life! Just like you pointed out, he’s learning from you. Great blog, I really enjoy reading it

    • I think it’s worth it if you love what you’re doing. Nothing is worse than feeling guilted into volunteering. I have to say, your passion *does* radiate off the screen.

  3. Your post is so true! I find it frustrating that more people don’t volunteer, but I agree that some people just don’t seem to have it in them. I feel for them, they don’t know what they’re missing!

  4. I do tons of mission trips! They’re a lot of work but when you see the people’s faces when it’s all done. You realize how much you have really done and it makes you feel great :).

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