Volunteer Spotlight | Julie Kerr, Homeroom Mom, Pittsburgh, PA
Many parents want to help out in their child's classroom, but shy away from being in charge, because they fear that coordinating other parents will be a logistical nightmare. Today, our Volunteer Spotlight shines on Julie Kerr, who uses VolunteerSpot's online signup sheets to coordinate parents who want to be involved in helping out in her daughter's kindergarten class.
I am the sole room parent for my daughter's Full-Day Kindergarten class.
How do you use VolunteerSpot to coordinate your parent volunteers?
I use it to contact them for help in planning, setting up, participating in, and cleaning up for any party or activity relating to the class/troop. I also use it to request materials for projects, gifts for teacher/leaders, and to fill in time slots for volunteer activities. Whether I need to ask for something on a specific date, a range of dates, a recurring calendar item, or just help in general, VolunteerSpot has met my needs and exceeded my expectations.
What other activities are you involved in as a volunteer or volunteer leader?
I am a volunteer leader with my daughter's American Heritage Girls troop.
What’s one piece of advice you have for parent volunteers out there?
If you spend a little bit of time preparing before you send out your "invitations," other parents are much more likely to sign up to help. If your activity seems disorganized and last-minute, they are less likely to want to be involved. VolunteerSpot helps you to be as organized as possible. Putting in some time and effort in the planning stages will certainly make the rest of the event run smoothly; before, during and after. Others will be impressed and want to know how you "pulled it off!"
Why did you decide to use VolunteerSpot?
I wanted a tool that was going to help me be organized and effective, while saving valuable time. I wanted to volunteer with my daughter's school class, but I didn't want to be usurped by countless hours of work on my own. I created a "pretend" event and tested out the service just sending messages to myself. I was amazed at how easy it was, and I loved the fact that it was free and I didn't have to register for anything.
Anything else you’d like our readers to know about volunteer management?
You can use VolunteerSpot even if you don't have a specific idea. Ask other parents for ideas via the service by creating the time slots, then let them decide how to fill the slots on their own! Make them responsible for their individual time slot in the event and then just let yourself be the overseer of the whole event! And don't forget to make a slot for clean-up!
We salute Julie and all the other parents out there making a difference in our children's schools. If you're using VolunteerSpot, write and tell us about what you're doing and give us a chance to shine our Volunteer Spotlight on you!! Just email us at VS@volunteerspot.com.