I read an article the other day on The Huffington Post website by Molly Shalz. It was called “Why I Volunteered for the PTA (Even Though Everyone Told Me Not To).” In it, she talked about the less than encouraging words she heard from people who couldn’t understand why she was doing it and about the reputation her school’s PTA had developed. She then listed her reasons why she volunteered. Reading these struck a chord with me, so I decided to share with you a few of the reasons why I volunteer for our booster organization.
1. Funds raised by RRBB directly support your student’s musical education experience.
Every band program needs support. The Dragon Band is no different. It gets support from several different levels - district, school, student fundraising, and booster fundraising. This year alone. (July-present), RRBB has donated over $138,000 to our Dragon Band program. These funds are used to pay for expenses associated with marching season - including all color guard expenses - summer band, region master classes, instruction, transportation costs...the list goes on and on. Without these funds, our band program would not be able to perform at the world class level they do now. For me, volunteering for boosters means I am supporting a program that that has done more for my children than I could have imagined. I support them because they support my kids.
2. Booster membership FREE, but your rewards are PRICELESS!
RRBB doesn’t collect dues from their members. Every parent with a student in the band program at RRHS or in one of our feeder middle schools’ band program is a booster member. What does this mean? It means you can come to the general meetings and get involved in the conversations and decisions made there. It means you can volunteer to help while getting to know some really great people. It means you have a support system for not only your student, but for you as well. The relationships you make along the way and the transformation you’ll see in your students are truly priceless.
3. You don’t have to volunteer for every single event.
Believe me, I know we have a lot going on in this band. Sometimes on a weekly basis. We know our time is precious. Because we are a larger organization, I enjoy being able to help in areas I enjoy and have time for because I know other parents help in other areas for the same reason. We’re not all good at the same thing. I’ll be honest...you don’t want me planning the preview picnic or building the props. That’s not where my strengths are. Thankfully, there are parent volunteers who have strengths in these areas that are far more suited to help. I love that we really do have an “it takes a village” attitude when it comes to support this program. Please don’t feel like you have to volunteer for everything. But please do come out to volunteer. It takes all of us to be successful.
4. I’m teaching my children that volunteering is important.
We all tell our kids that it’s important to volunteer. That they need volunteer hours for scholarship and college applications. And to a point, it is important for those reasons. But I also want my kids to know that it’s important to volunteer for something you believe in, both because you want to support a program, charity, etc. and because you want that program to KNOW you support them. I want my kids to know that when they see me volunteering for something with band, that means I support not only them, but the other 350+ members of their band family too.
5. So that I can affect change.
One of the reasons I originally volunteered for boosters is because I had an idea to make a particular event better. I know that there are parents out there who might also have an idea to make something better. I’ll go back to the “it takes a village” attitude...come to a meeting, make a suggestion, join a committee! What I love about our organization is that it is set up to be a collaborative effort. We all work together to support the band, the kids, the staff. Whether at a meeting or while volunteering at an event, we want to hear your ideas because it’s those ideas that can make things better.
We have several events coming up in the next few months. We have our general meetings every month. We would love to see some new faces! Bring your ideas, your willingness to help, and your enthusiasm...because it takes a village.