Perfectly Practical #86 - Give to Your School
Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace;
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
St. Francis of Assisi - 13th century
Our children are at school for 7 hours a day - a large percentage of their waking hours. It makes perfect sense to want to support, encourage, and positively impact the environment where our most precious treasure is stored for a good portion of the day.
Schools often get overlooked as an opportunity to give. Even if you don't have children, there are ways to help out your local schools. A community is stronger and students make better choices if there is pride in their schools. The same goes for a visible presence of involved parents.
Here are some ways to help, some are active and some are passive, but all are appreciated.
1. Collect Points on Groceries - Box Tops on General Mills products, Points from Campbell's products, etc. can be turned in to the companies and earn the school money or credits toward sports equipment. Just save the labels or stickers in a baggie and turn them in to your local school.
2. Collect Cans - Some schools will accept cans as a donation so that they can recycle them for cash.
3. Donate Trash, er, um, Craft Items - Shoe boxes or toilet rolls can be used in tons of different activities
4. Donate School Supplies - Many school districts are feeling the pinch of the economy just like everyone else. Kids have to either provide their own supplies or the school district has to pay for them on an already shoestring budget. Why not lessen their load some and donate pens, pencils, erasers, and paper, even toilet paper or Kleenex? Many of us take advantage of the Back to School sales and have excess of these items. Schools are always happy to receive donations of school supplies.
5. Bring Food to School - This could be a fun surprise for your child's class (securing your title as The Coolest Mom Ever) or as a sign of goodwill for the teachers. My Momma was a teacher for many years and I can assure you that the teachers need quick bursts of energy. Bringing in cupcakes, chocolates, doughnuts, or nice coffee help boost their moods and help with that energy level.
6. Be Available - Sometimes teachers need a quick errand taken care of or have forgotten to ask a parent to bring cups for the class party. If you are willing and available, then you can be a HUGE help.
7. Be involved - Join the PTA or a school committee. Chaperon the school dance, coordinate a fundraiser, or drive for a field trip. One of the ways to help that makes a big impact on the students and helps out the teachers enormously is to listen to the kids read. This is especially needed in those schools where overcrowding is a problem.
8. Do the Nitty Gritty - I know for a fact that the music and drama teachers at your child's school need help setting up and tearing down staging for productions. Just like the school librarian would sure like your help reshelving books or help with the book fair. You could even apply for grants for the school, design a website, or run photocopies for teachers.
Giving to your school is part of that "holistic stewardship" idea; it creates a ripple effect. Plus, any time you can hang on to that "Coolest Mom" title, you better grab the opportunity.
This is the fourth in the series of 30 Day Giving Challenges. You can read the first part on giving to your church here, the second post on giving to your family here, and the third part on giving to your friends here.
This is part of We Are That Family's Works for Me Wednesday and the 30 Day Giving Challenge.