After sitting in an uncomfortable plastic chair for three hours at my son’s high school, Senior Awards Night, something clicked: I finally understood the need to volunteer, especially here in the U.S.
I’ll never forget the day my Father came over from Paris to visit his Grand kids. I told him about my volunteering in the classroom and he said, “That would never be allowed in France?”
“Why not?” I asked.
“Because the teachers don’t want parents interfering in the classroom. Besides, do you think a husband would like his wife to sit and watch him work? It’s important for kids to realize this is their work place, and parents don’t need to be interfering.” My Dad was in his seventies at the time. I thought he brought up an interesting point, especially as kids get older, and some parents want to stay in the classroom.
Recently a mom told me something I hadn’t realized. “Many moms help in elementary school so they can decide which teacher their kid gets in each grade.”
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying people volunteer in order to get something back, like a job offer, a scholarship, or a favor. Most volunteer in order to help, or be of service to others, and I truly believe that should be the main purpose of volunteering.
You often hear famous people, like Oprah say, “The more you give, the more you get back,” and that is what clicked on Senior Awards Night at my son’s high school. Those who received numerous scholarships, were those who volunteered the most during high school. We were told how many hours they had volunteered, and one young girl, had put in 500+ hours with the Red Cross. Of course good grades were crucial too, but I couldn’t help but notice how the number of scholarships were directly linked to the number of hours volunteering.
My husband did have a point when he said, “What about all the other students who volunteered and didn’t get a scholarship?” My response, straightforward and GUTSY, as usual was, “That’s because they only did the minimum eight hour requirement to graduate from high school.”
I haven’t written much due to graduation and a visit from my best friend from England, but I’d love to hear your views on volunteering, especially what happens in your part of the world. Is it more of an American concept? My English friend and her husband said, “How do these kids have time to simply be teenagers if they’re studying, volunteering that many hours and working a job? They’ll be burnt out before they even start a career.” Do you agree?
Thanks to all of you for asking me about my back. Yes, it’s much, much better. HOORAY! I can workout again. Three hours in a plastic chair didn’t help though.