Monday, October 19, 2009

Sometimes You Just Have to Show Up

I don't know if I mentioned this here yet, but I am the class mom for my 5th graders class again this year. I know, just call me "sucker". Still, I love being invovled with the school and most importantly the children. Even as they grow into preteens, they still like knowing that someone cares enough to show up.

So last week, I sent home a flyer asking for donations to make our Halloween party for the children special. I'm not asking for goodie bags or huge donations - simply some juice pouches, cookies, cupcakes, the usual for a class party. Obviously the party is next Friday and while the flyers have been out for over a week now, and the deadline for turning them in is rapidly approaching, I still only have three that have been returned. Three parents out of twenty have stepped forward to volunteer just a little of themselves to make their child's day a little better. Sort of sad, isn't it? I mean, I am certainly grateful for those three, but where the hell are the seventeen other parents? Does it really take such a huge time committment out of your day that you can't fill and return a form? Are people really so apathetic that they are simply satisfied to sit by and let others do all the heavy lifting? What message does this send to our children?

I feel so blessed that every Friday I get to spend an hour of my day with these amazing children. I know that not everyone has the same opportunities that I do. I know that people have to work and often can't be there even though they would like to be. But really, 20 napkins is too much to ask?

I wish these parents could see the faces of their children when I walk into that room every Friday. I wish they could see the way their faces light up, or the ways the girls will just come by and give me a hug. It's magic. All these children want is someone to show up, and let them know they care and that can happen in so many ways - volunteering, spending time with them doing their homework, donating items to the classroom and simply making time for them. They do still need that in their lives and the depth of their response to those that they know really care about them - breathtaking. I know I'm lucky, I just wish that a few more people would take just a few minutes to show up.


Jen said...

I often feel the same way! It's the same with all volunteer activities, Girl Scouts, the FRG...I just remind myself that it is a good thing God made at least a few of us to care extra to make up for those who don't care enough! I'm glad you're having fun with the girls, and I agree, it sends such a message of love and support to the kids, even the ones who aren't yours! Kudos to you for volunteering!

Ann M. said...

I agree too! The Captain's not in school yet but I see it a lot with her playgroup. I'm having a food drive here for the playgroup and so far I think three people are coming. It amazes me that people can't buy an extra can of soup or some extra napkins or something.

Half my Heart said...

Wow... we have the opposite problem at our school. EVERY parent wants to help out/volunteer, be a room mom... we literally have to fight to get a spot. We do all communication through email and both of my kids classes had all the party stuff signed up for within 10 mins of the emails going out.

I think it is nuts that those parents don't want to help out! About half of our moms are working moms and do the "teacher elves" program which is taking things home at night to help with - or off site like laminating and cutting. We even have several dads who help.

I almost wish it were less... since there are so many volunteers, I can only go to each of my kids class twice for the ENTIRE year. Once to guest read and once to help in class.