Just Doing the Work

It’s a busy week.  On Friday night we’ll hold our annual Halloween carnival, a Seed tradition since the 1980s.  The carnival has grown from a tiny event on a crowded school yard into a much-expanded major production.  Preparations for a carnival basically begin right after the previous one,  involving hundreds of hours by a small, but mighty, group.  Every year there is a reflection and review process to see what went well and what needs to be adjusted.  Soliciting raffle and silent auction prizes starts in the spring and summer and continues until just days before the event.  August ushers in planning meetings, committee formation and ordering of supplies.  For the past several years, I have also met weekly with one of the APA coordinators, to establish and maintain lines of communication between the school and the APA.  Carnival foundations are laid long before the decorations go up.

The thing about our APA volunteers is that they’re not in it for the glory, to be noticed or to receive accolades.  They’re just doing the work.  As I was thinking about this group of remarkable parents, I thought it would be interesting to hear in their own words why they volunteer as they do.  Here is what a few of them said:

“I volunteer to be a good role model, so our kids see that we are active in the community.  I also like getting to know other parents.” 

“I believe being involved is essential to help make a successful school home for our children.  Everyone benefits from supporting our teachers and staff.  I’m hopeful that my daughter will do the same when she has children.”  

“My mother had me volunteering at the local historical society/museum when I was in grammar school.  I have volunteered for a variety of community organizations during my life.  So why wouldn’t I volunteer in the most important community organization in my daughter’s and family’s life…The Seed? Volunteering fills my heart and without it I’m not my best.  It teaches [my child] the importance of volunteering and working with others for a common goal.  I already see the volunteer spirit shining brightly within her and she’ll help so many during her lifetime.”

What I notice from all three of these valuable members of the Seed community is their common belief in the importance of service.  All three mentioned how important it is to them to model for their child what it is to be a volunteer.  The idea of passing on such a noble  teaching to a child in hopes that the child will repeat it in his or her life is a powerful one.  The Seed carnival happens each year as a result of all our parents who give their time and expertise to make it happen.  As you volunteer your time for this event, supervising a game, baking treats or organizing big parts of the entire event, it’s good to remember what an important life lesson it is that you are also giving your child.