The Tobin School is a small, independent day school in Natick, MA. Founded in 2004, the day school began with five students and has grown to more than 80 students in their Pre-K through 5th Grade program. The school has a strong commitment to community service and just celebrated its 8th annual Family Volunteer Fair.
Today our spotlight shines on Lori Davis, Head of School, who uses VolunteerSpot's online signup sheets to organize volunteers for their annual Family Volunteer Fair.
Tell us about your role as a parent volunteer leader.
Eight years ago we set out to create an event that would feature child- and family-friendly community service projects done throughout our School building and grounds that would allow families to enjoy a day together while helping others. This first event has grown to now be the hallmark of our School's community service efforts. This year's 8th Annual event supported the work of more than ten different non-profits who help others in our local community and around the nation. Each year we are amazed at how much good we are able to accomplish at our annual Family Volunteer Fair. Just look at all we accomplished at this year's Fair:
- We made 53 hand-crafted cat toys for our feline friends at Buddy Dog Humane Society.
- We mixed, rolled, cut and baked hundreds of delicious dog biscuits to treat our dog friends at Buddy Dog.
- We decorated 37 welcome and get well cards as well as four canvas signs to welcome families staying at Christopher's Haven in Boston. We also were able to donate a large box of jar candles, activity books for kids and adults, and soft, fluffy socks to become part of each families' welcome basket.
- We raised $136.76 from our used book sale to donate to Read Out and Read
- We donated three large boxes of unsold books to the Morse Institute Library in Natick to use for the semi-annual book sales for the Friends of the Library.
- We raised $72.00 from our cupcake walk to go to "The Cupcake Charity".
- We raised $188.20 at our annual Alex's Lemonade Stand to go toward their great work fighting children's cancer.
- We collected 6 large size 100 piece puzzles from our Puzzle to Remember drive--three will be donated to the Natick Community Senior Center and three will go to Kindred Nursing & Rehabilitation in Wellesley.
- We decorated 64 beautiful blank journals and donated a total a total of 210 plain and decorated journals to The Home for Little Wanderers in Boston.
Between our efforts at The Tobin Children's School and in our building, we made a total of 139 friendship bracelets, necklaces and rings to give to Handmade to Hospitals. Also between the two buildings on this day, we decorated and filled 245 snack bags which have been delivered to A Place to Turn Food Pantry (and they were so happy!) And we collected two VERY large boxes of candy to go to the troops through Operation Gratitude!
How do you use VolunteerSpot to coordinate your parent volunteers?
As you can imagine, an event of this magnitude takes a lot of planning, donations, and volunteers. We used to just post sign ups and do emails, but last year we tried an online sign up. It was a help but nothing nearly as comprehensive as what VolunteerSpot allowed. We were able to use VolunteerSpot to easily post all the supplies we needed for donations, all the shifts needed for the day of the event, make easy changes when necessary--and all of it looked so professional! I loved that donors/volunteers got a thank you message back (they thought it was right from me!) and a reminder as the date approached. And best of all, it was all handled through one event listing on VolunteerSpot, instead of multiple forms. Parents found it easy to use and convenient to sign on whenever they had only a few spare moments.
What other activities are you involved in as a volunteer or volunteer leader?
I have already used VolunteerSpot to assist us in planning a School Family Fun Night. I posted the event on the site so parents could easily RSVP to join us for an evening magic show and to do a simple sign up for potluck items, beverages and paper goods. I know I will get a lot of usage from VolunteerSpot for other events in the future!
What’s one piece of advice you have for parent volunteers out there?
Go ahead and ask for donations and help! Families can be so generous for a good cause. You may be worried about asking for too much, but I am always pleasantly surprised!
Why did you decide to use VolunteerSpot?
I read about VolunteerSpot in an issue of PTO Today Magazine. It sounded so much better than what we had been using before--and it was!
Anything else you’d like our readers to know about your school, event, or volunteering?
We love that this event helps everyone think outside of themselves and to help others. Each year this is an exhausting event, but I am always so proud by what we are able to accomplish as a school community!
To learn more about The Tobin School, please visit http://www.thetobinschool.org.
We salute Lori and all the other volunteers out there making a difference in our children's education. 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.