Sunday, January 30, 2011

Kimberly Parker Presents: The Resolve to Volunteer

Resolve to Volunteer

Here we are nearing the end of January 2011. Like many of you, I stepped into the New Year determined to make changes, implement plans, and amp up my “game” in one area of life or another. Some call these bulleted items resolutions. For the sake of being aligned, I concur. More than a cute story laced with anecdotes from my children, herein lays a heartfelt plea. My sincere request to all who read is to make one more resolution for 2011: resolve to volunteer!

I know and proudly boast that Prince George’s County parents are the cream of the crop! We are homemakers, entrepreneurs, CEO's, educators, military personnel, activist...and the list goes on! Oh yes, we are simply the best! By no means is my perspective portrayed to slight parents from other parts of the world. It’s merely to highlight the greatness right here in our own backyards.

There is a universal principle called the "vital few and trivial many." In short, it's equivalent to the 80/20 rule where we find that just a little bit of people do a large amount of work. As a parent volunteer at my children’s school, I’ve witnessed parents who sign up to participate at events, yet do not show up. Or, they show up and do not do what they signed up to do. Or even still, they begin doing such marvelous work, find "something wrong" with the assignment, but instead of providing solutions they step down from their position.

Now, I am not soliciting any argumentative replies and by no means am I trying to make anyone feel guilty. I’ve dropped the ball a time or two as well. But what I am hoping to do is inspire you to take self-inventory to see where you stand in this equation. The operative word here is “volunteer”. As one parent told me, "Nobody forced your hand to work with the PTSA!" True. However, the same vital few can not be the only one's serving on the board or heading committees that provide services to thousands of parents, teachers, and students year after year. And let's not forget about our partners and stakeholders!

I know you have 2.5 children -- so do we (four, in my case). I know you work 10, 12, and even 14 hours a day -- so do we. I know you live your share of miles away from the school -- so do we. I know you have a child in elementary school, one in middle school, and one about to graduate from high school -- again I say, so do we! As Michael Jackson so poignantly stated, “You are not alone!”
Madame, Sir, please resolve to volunteer. I know a few of you have been considering the possibility of increasing your service and I truly appreciate that! It all starts with a thought. I ask you to consider this as well: the phenomenal difference you can make as a volunteer!

Kimberly K. Parker is the owner of Writing Momma Publishing ( She is hosting “Isn’t She Lovely!”, an elegant father and daughter event in March 2011 in hopes of promoting the importance of the relationship between little girls and their fathers. Visit to purchase tickets and for more information. Kimberly is an author and blogger living in Maryland with her husband and three children.

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