It’s time I come clean about something. I have an addiction, and no, it’s not chocolate. (Okay…maybe I have two addictions.) This addiction is nothing shameful or tortured. It’s definitely not dark and I don’t think anyone will be making
a “made for TV movie” about my life anytime soon. In fact the addiction I speak of is “Volunteerism”.
I’m a big fan of Mahatma Ghandi, or at least what I know of him and one of my favorite quotes of his is:
“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”
Now I know in many cases I am preaching to the proverbial choir here. In fact, La Mariposa probably has one of the highest parent participation rates of any of the schools I know, so chances are if you are reading this you already volunteer quite a bit. But just in case you haven’t had a chance to volunteer much this year, I want to share with you why I’m such a volunteer junkie. (And even if you have, maybe you can leave a comment and share why you love volunteering so much.)
The Top 5 Reasons Why I Volunteer
Volunteering at School tells my children, in the clearest way possible, that their school is important to me. It’s true that our children sometimes know us better than we know ourselves and they certainly learn a whole lot more from what we do than what we say. When we spend time at school or even at home working on school projects it says to them that school is worth our time…and theirs.
Volunteering Models The Value of Service. I’m not a volunteer junkie by accident. I grew up in a house with a PTA Mom and grandparents that volunteered everything from their time to their home to their treasures in the service of others. We all are part of a community that is made more whole by each of us contributing in the ways that we are strong. Service has become a legacy in my family that I hope my children will continue.
Volunteering Gives Me Insight Into My Children’s Lives. When I ask my daughter how her day went and she mentions a bunch of names, I know who she is talking about. If I ask my son how his day was and he says, “Fine.”, I can ask him more specific questions because I know about his school life. Being on campus means I have a sense of the culture, I see the projects and dynamics in the classroom, and I know my children’s friends personally.
Volunteering Means I Get to Dabble. So this one is totally selfish, I’ll admit, but as a volunteer, I get to be everything I ever wanted to be when I was growing up. I get to be a writer, an artist, a graphic designer, an accountant, a project manager, a photographer, a teacher, a scientist, a salesman…and the list goes on. Not to mention the fact that I’m inspired everyday by something the kids do…or another parent…or a teacher…or one of the office staff…I’m constantly impressed and always learning.
And the best part for me…
Volunteering Means I Get To Share My Passions. I don’t even know how to put this into words. We all have things that we love doing, things that just make us who we are. Being able to share those things in a way that makes someone smile or makes their lives better or helps them discover something new about themselves, whether it is a child or an adult, is one of the best feelings in the world. Some days I look around and see people’s faces and it makes me sad. They look so lost or tired or maybe just uninspired. Sharing the things I love helps me be the best version of myself–the most authentic part of who I was meant to be–inspired…found.
Opportunities To Volunteer At La Mariposa
We are just beginning the final push for the year. April will be over in the blink of an eye and May will go even faster. There is a ton of stuff going on in the next eight weeks and really a way for just about anyone to take a couple hours out and be a part of the La Mariposa Community. Check your emails for the following volunteer opportunities:
- For the Eco Friendly and Green Inspired: Earth Week, April 23-27
- For Cooks and Crafters: Staff Appreciation Week, May 14-18
- For Book Worms: Buck-a-Book Sale, May 14-18
- For Athletes: Tiger Oympics, May 29-June 1
- For the Party Planners: End of Year Grade Level Celebrations, June 4-8
- For Anyone Who Wants To Get More Involved: PTA Committee Positions for 2012-13
Get inspired and find yourself in the service of others!
–Kamala Nahas, President, La Mariposa PTA 2010-12