Parker and friends at recessby Susan Knapp (parent of Parker in ninth grade)

For the kids. There is something magical in seeing the joy on the kids’ faces, knowing you had a part in generating that. It’s a great way to get a glimpse into your child’s life at school—at least until they’re teens and don’t want you around at school. See what they’re like with their friends, get to know their class a little better, experience their camaraderie, their joy, and gratitude for the extras volunteers provide.

For the sheer joy of being a part of something bigger. One of the best experiences I’ve had volunteering was being involved in the MS Café. Using my talents and time in ways that I don’t normally has been very rewarding. I loved the teamwork, meeting the challenges, the creativity, and the gratitude and wonder on the kids’ faces as they walked into all of our hard work for the very first time. It was a labor of love and totally worth it. Another great experience was manning the snack room in pre-COVID teacher appreciation week. It’s a very fun way of meeting teachers and staff members, surrounded by sugar and snacks and gratitude. What can be better than that?!

Belonging to a community. I’ve made some really good friends that I would not normally have because of volunteering. They are fellow parents outside my child’s friend group or grade level. It’s something that has been very satisfying and has enriched my life. Volunteering was a great way of getting to know other parents when I was new to MPA. It gave me more of a sense of the intangibles: the culture and history of MPA, and it provided me with a sense of investment in the school that I would not have experienced otherwise.

Because I can. I’m grateful that I’m fortunate enough to be able to volunteer. Many parents don’t have that luxury. As a member of the PA Board, we are always looking for ways of involving everyone on many different levels. It’s a wonderful thing to be able to give back. Volunteering enriches our school, and has definitely enriched my life.

For me. When I think about volunteering, at MPA and in other organizations, I sometimes feel like I am doing it for myself. I can choose what I do, whether it’s being a decision maker or just showing up to work on something. Both are equally rewarding. I have enjoyed getting to know teachers and staff members on a level beyond normal interactions. Most of all, I think about the sense of connection I have, including the great friendships I’ve developed working alongside diverse people with the same core values and goals. Giving my time and talents has given me so much more.

Join the PA Board! The Parents Association board is looking for volunteers to fill several positions next year. There are varying time commitments, but the experience is consistently rewarding. Over the next few weeks the current PA Board would like to share our reasons for volunteering. Please reach out to Kim Jakway (thejakways@gmail.com), Susan Knapp (knapp.ssn@gmail.com), or any of the current board members with questions or to express interest. 

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