Carlos and I volunteered ourselves to our youngest son’s school PTO board, and we were voted in as presidents. He the president and I the co-president, although secretly and yet not so secretly I direct everything. I truly had no idea what we were getting ourselves into, but it didn’t take long to find out.
Firstly, let me start out by saying that any role on the PTO board does not come with the description of “walk in the park”, if it comes with one at all for that matter. I never realized how much has to be done in the background of every Halloween Dance, every restaurant dine-in event, or all the details and planning needed to run a box tops fundraiser! It seems that these things just happen at our child’s school like they would have for years before our child – right? Let me shoot you the short answer – nope.
I am a super organized obsessive planner, and in just 33 days, which is how long I’ve been co-presidenting, I have found myself needing extra arms, legs, and brain cells to keep everything in its rightful order. “What the heck is Bingo for Books!?”, “How do I book a sleigh!?”, “What if we don’t have enough volunteers!?” – the questions loom over the board of brilliant minds who have no idea what’s going on. Apparently this is normal, so I just sigh it all out.
Prior to taking on this role I would have hardly ever found myself showing up for PTO meetings or volunteering for anything. I have a busy life too! Who has time to stand at a door to collect canned goods or count box tops for an hour when I have kids that need showers, dinner, and have bed times!? Who wants to sit at a PTO meeting for an hour and talk about fundraisers when I could be relaxing in my sweats and enjoying a glass of wine!? This was me all day! And now I’m the one pressing the parents to show up and stressing the importance of getting involved and volunteering. My how the tables have turned!
But in this short snippet of time I am already understanding how amazing these groups are. Every event that takes place is planned and executed 100% by volunteer power. No one is paid to run or be a part of the PTO. Every event that takes place at your child’s school has a team of teachers and parents taking time out of their schedule to donate their talents and ideas all for the kids. This alone makes me try harder at our oldest son’s school. I’ve showed up for their PTO meetings and started volunteering where I can to help count fundraiser forms and money.
If you ever find the opportunity to be a part of this amazing organization – do it! It’s not always going to be pretty, it’s not always going to be smooth, but in the end it is completely about the kids. I have been so blessed to have a full board with me, full of ideas, positivity, and energy. I’m really glad that I am experiencing this early on while the kids are just starting school and I’m looking forward to the tiny impacts and relationships we will make a long the way.
The purpose of this post: If you child has a PTO, PTA, or whatever they are calling them, join it! Yes I know you are busy and I know you will easily be able to think of a million more productive things to do but your help is greatly needed – even if all you’re doing is watching a spin wheel at a dine in for an hour – you are making a difference!