Monday, March 14, 2011


I drove into my garage this afternoon and promptly grabbed a letter and business card out of my car and accosted the landscaper working on my neighbor's yard.

I was polite. I asked for support. He was gracious and promised to pass on my request to his manager.

I am constantly on the prowl, if you will, for opportunities. I get absurdly excited when I get a donation.

I am soliciting donations for a basket raffle fundraiser for my kids' school.

I am a volunteer. I am an advocate for the elementary school. Sometimes, I don't recognize myself.

How did this happen?

For the last few weeks, I've been trying to determine what motivates me to volunteer.

I like to help. That's true. It's always been true.
But, I never imagined myself in this role when I showed up in my little town 3 1/2 years ago.

I became involved at the school because I wanted to be known by the school administration. I did it for selfish reasons. I have a child with a severe food allergy. That's what prompted me to show up for my first parent teacher organization meeting.

I attended meeting after meeting and as time went by I cared more and more about the needs of the school.

I don't like fundraising. I don't mind asking for money for the school. It's a strange dichotomy.

I loathe some parts of volunteering.
I know I could do the job better if I could dedicate more time to it. As it is, it is not my full-time job. I give it more time than I'd like to admit.
I detest getting attention for being a volunteer. I don't enjoy being in charge of events (and the larger organization, for that matter) because often it appears that the leaders want credit. I could care less about credit. I'd do it all anonymously if it were possible.

I love volunteering at the school because I enjoy finding ways to help the teachers and students. It feels good to support the organization that is teaching my kids and giving them a future.

I have been considering my efforts as a volunteer. Is it worth it? Does my family suffer because of my dedicated time? Will I volunteer at my kids' school once we move? (We will move this summer.) Do the benefits outweigh the sacrifice?

I realize only I can answer these questions. But, being a volunteer baffles me. I love it and I hate it all at the same time.

"When you cease to make a contribution, you begin to die." Eleanor Roosevelt

1 comment:

Seth said...

Thanks for volunteering. Its what makes us become a better society.