I've been an avid volunteer my whole life:
- missions trips with my church youth group as a kid
- various positions at my 3 kids' schools
- sports team volunteer
- my local GFWC woman's club.
I've chaired annual school fundraisers, a huge charity ball, been cookie Mom for Girl Scouts, and Homeroom Mom in Elementary schools too many times to count.
Not only does getting involved help the organization that can't run without volunteer help, it sets a great example to your kids to be a good citizen. Plus you get to spend more time with your kids.
Sometimes volunteering is HARD WORK - It is for your kids. It is for other people's kids. It is for the community. It is rewarding - you just have to find a way to have fun with it even if it is writing a crazy excerpt of a blog post:
That was the theme for the Girl Scout Cookie Sale, and I can tell you what it can do… send the cookie mom to the crazy house.
Nothing really prepares you for hauling 2000 boxes of cookies to your home, and it filled a room. My kids thought we’d won the lottery until they realized you have to pay for them.
This is what heaven looks like to Cookie Monster. ->
How they should have explained it:
Two months of your life will be sacrificed…you will never get them back. Your house will fall apart while simultaneously being transformed into a warehouse. You will do more math than you have seen since High School and the red tape of paperwork rivals that of the Pentagon. You will also gain 10 to 15 pounds thanks to the convenience of purchasing Samoas from the comfort of your living room at 2am so good luck with that.
Seems simple. Just sell cookies. They practically sell themselves, but there is an entire notebook full of paperwork and rules to follow. Inventory to track. Incentives and patches to order.
After a month of presales was complete, a month of booth duty followed. This consists of loading up cases of cookies, a table, cash box, and two 6 year olds who have the cuteness factor working for them.
I remember being a girl scout and wanting that 100 cookie sale patch so badly I could taste the thread I would be using to sew it on crooked (I didn't have the sewing badge yet). It never happened. My daughter gets the 250 box patch! She’s cuter, a better salesman, and much more determined. Needless to say I did not go into sales.
Then there was all the excitement of constantly counting money with distractions.
In the end - someone has to do it. Someone has to run the snack bar at the baseball game. Someone has to help in the 4th grade classroom 100th day celebration craft centers. Let that someone be you as often as you can. The kids grow up and these opportunities are lost.
Some of my best friends were made working along side them planning events. It is worth it. For you, your child, and your community.