Do you see volunteering as a chore, or a pleasure? Do you see it as time well spent, or a drag on your time? Or perhaps you don’t think twice, as you know volunteering your time and talents to be a wonderful way to get engaged in the world around you, a simple way to enrich your life and your character. We certainly hope our school-age children don’t hesitate to help when asked. They are an active troupe of volunteers learning the power of their own engagement every day—when they pick up a friend’s dropped pencil, assist a friend with a math problem, offer a kind word to a friend who is hurt, or escort a friend to the nurse. These are all examples of children sharing their time, their talents and their compassion with others.
Engagement offers us insight and understanding. In her blog last year, Debbie Callahan cited an old Chinese proverb: “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.” For the volunteers penning this blog, it is the act of doing at Derby that has enriched our experience as parents and allowed us to appreciate the important role that Derby plays in the lives of our children. There is great reward in knowing that we will never regret spending this time here on campus. We have all heard from friends whose children have graduated that we will look back at our Derby years as the “sweet spot” in our lives. Not only do we get to witness, up close, the magic of our children’s growth, we are also rewarded by the gift of friendship that this type of engagement provides. Even simple planning meetings combine a sprinkle of work with lots of laughs and camaraderie.
Giving your time to Derby can take on many forms—a great idea, an act of support, an hour in the library, hosting a new family or helping Admissions at an event. If your instinct is to think “That is not for me,” consider, if you will, what we tell our Derby students each day. We ask them to step outside their comfort zone, to take a risk, to try something new. We can never underestimate how important it is for us to model this behavior for our children. This weekend, let’s reflect on how we contribute to our Derby community as parents and let’s celebrate our efforts and our contributions. Thank you for all you do. And…let’s keep up the good work!
This blog was collaboratively written by Parents Association Presidents of the past and present (Kathy Sherbrooke, Kristen Maxwell, Lori Cashman and Deb Hayes).