Volunteering at your child’s school — No matter what your schedule!

by Laura Wallis | Follow Her on Twitter Here

benefits volunteering schoolsThere are as many ways to volunteer at your child’s school as there are moms.  Some of us work from home, work outside the home, have littler ones, or have other volunteer priorities. So figuring out the best way to help out can be a bit tricky.

We all know schools today need all the help they can get. But, even though you want to help and need to, you might be wondering what might be the best fit for your schedule. Here are seven ideas of volunteer tasks that can benefit the school, and maybe even benefit you, too!

Choose a task that mirrors what you are good at and that may even help round out your resume.

Many of us moms are transitioning into a working role, and anything we can do to boost our skills is awesome! Are you a PR person? Do marketing for the fundraiser.  A landscape architect?  Create a water resistant garden to beautify the campus and educate kids on water conservation. And you’ll end up with a beautiful portfolio showpiece for yourself, too!

Align yourself with a mission that can help your own career.

[easyazon-image align=”right” asin=”B00ADF4HV0″ locale=”us” height=”500″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51ERs5He9EL.jpg” width=”312″]I’ve always put the bulk of my volunteer hours into working on our big annual fundraiser. It’s been a terrific way for me to connect and network with local businesses, while feeling good about “cold calling for a cause.” Check out this great book, “A Mom’s Guide To School Fundraising,” that will give you tons of ideas for successful fundraisers and more, so you maximize the time you spend volunteering for your child’s school.

Pick something that lets you be “there” without being toooo there.

Another task I’ve always loved volunteering for is serving hot lunch because it puts me right there in the lunchroom, where all the kids cycle through. Sure, I’m helping, but I can also check on who my child is sitting with (and if she’s eating her lunch!) while not being a helicopter parent!

Indulge in the sense of completion.

Let’s face it. Our lives are filled with a wide variety of tasks that seem to multiply every time you turn around. Laundry. Dishes. Meal prep. Sometimes it can feel like you never actually finish a task.  I must admit there is a feeling of completion working on school committees that I often don’t get as a mom doing the daily chore grind.  Working on the school jog-a-thon, sprucing up the campus on School Beatification Day, and seeing those last donated items hauled away during our Garage-a-rama is pretty rewarding stuff!

volunteering child schoolShare your love of (fill in the blank).

Are you a kids’ book aficionado? I bet the teacher would love to have you come in and read to the class for a block a couple of times a week. An art connoisseur? Offer to pick a famous artist and teach an art lesson based on his/her favorite technique. Do you know a foreign language? Maybe you could come in once a week to teach Spanish, French or Chinese. Many schools lack these enrichment classes and would benefit from your expertise.

Make it a friendly affair.

What’s better than volunteering? Volunteering with a friend! Sometimes a friend and I will pick a committee where we can work together. Then we’re not just “having coffee,” (not that there’s anything wrong with it!) but we’re volunteering!

Instill a love of volunteering into your kids by letting them watch you work.

I love to volunteer because my mom loved to volunteer! Whether they can see what you’re doing at school or not, make sure to articulate your love of helping – and why! Some moms choose to bring work home because their child can see how much goes into getting that directory ready or mounting all those art projects. The bonus is that you can work while your kids are around – showing them that mom has homework, too!

How about you? What’s your favorite volunteer activity? Let us know what it is – and why – below!

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Sarah August 30, 2013 at 10:53 pm

Thanks Laura! Great article!! I know plenty of moms who have created businesses that started with volunteering! I will share on my page too!

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