To Volunteer Or Not To Volunteer?
Parents (moms in particular) are asked to do increasingly more in all areas of community service. From church youth groups to sports leagues, and especially in schools; moms are spending large amounts of their personal time volunteering.
Recently there’s been a rush of chatter about women refusing to volunteer.
The New York Times reported on women who have taken matters into their own hands. Two choosing to stop altogether, refusing even to host a Donuts for Dads Day. They staged a take-back-their-time rebellion. A third working mom, Karen Bantuveris, after seeing her cell phone fill up with reply-all emails requesting help with a school function, thought: ‘There’s got to be a better way!’ She created the website VolunteerSpot.com to end the sign up nightmares and help get more moms in the door to ease the pain.
Is it really a question of all or nothing? Isn’t there an in-between sweet spot that will make everyone happy? Tim Sullivan founder of PTOToday.com spoke about balance in response to the NYT article:
“My problem with the article is in the conclusions. Reading, one would think that the only solution to over-volunteering is going completely cold turkey. One of the moms celebrated in the article won’t even let her husband write a check to support a school fundraiser? Really? She went from running about everything in the school to attending nothing, supporting nothing and (obviously) volunteering not at all? That’s the solution?”
The times article points out however, in our current state of budget cuts, schools are in need of ever more parent involvement:
“The need is so great that some school districts, like a couple of specialty schools in Prince William County, Va., have made it mandatory to commit to a small amount of volunteer time, and others are considering it.”Would you refuse to help in your child’s school if it was mandatory to volunteer? If everyone throws in the towel and stops helping in schools, how will that help? I agree with Mr. Sullivan, I think it’s a simple question of balance.
Disclosure: Carissa Rogers is affiliated with VolunteerSpot.com.