Volunteering in your child’s school, for their sports teams, Scouts or church group is a win-win situation. They need your time, talent and donations and you get a backstage pass to a part of your child’s world, and to the teachers and parents who are influencing and educating your children.

See and Be Seen

When you spend more time at the school or other activity, the people heading the events – teachers, coaches, etc. – get to know you and your child a little better and you get to know them. You can see your child and their friends at the events in their true form.

Make Connections to Your Child’s Day

You can see the places and the people who your child interacts with every day. You can see the silly hat the librarian wears when she reads aloud and understand how the bathroom breaks work. That way when you child comes home to talk about them, you have a better understanding.

Build Your Social Network

As a volunteer, I have worked with dozens of parents over the years that I may not have connected with at Open House night. By spending time on a committee or working at Field Day, we formed bonds that led to wonderful friendships.

Time is Money

If you can share your gifts – graphic design, culinary talents, sewing skills, accounting knowledge – then the school or association does not have to use limited funds to cover it. The money can go directly to the kids and their experience.

Can’t Do it Without You

When you look at the big events at a school, like a carnival, it takes dozens and dozens of volunteers. Not only are people needed the day of, but also months before planning, fundraising and purchasing. Without volunteers to coach teams and head church or Scout groups, those groups couldn’t form.

Good on a Resume

If you are taking off time from work to raise your family, don’t let your resume show missing years. Explain your experience as a committee board member, the skills you used, the leadership you offered and the responsibilities you had.

Opens New Doors

The connections you make can find you a new job or you can use your experiences as a stepping stone to get into something else. A friend of ours volunteered as a soccer coach after playing for years in high school and college. He later became a certified soccer trainer.

Learn New Skills or Shortcuts

A neighbor with a daughter in marching band volunteered to help with uniforms during the season – mending and hemming. She had always wanted to learn to sew and time with the experienced band moms gave her the opportunity.

Set an Example for Your Child

The child of a volunteer becomes a volunteer. My daughter’s high school coach told me that the kids who help clean up the dugout and carry the equipment back to the gym without complaint are daughters of travel softball coaches. Working together comes naturally to them.

It Feels Good

You have a sense of belonging to a community of people who have a common bond. Giving of your time is a gift often more generous than writing a check.

– Pam Molnar

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