We, The Willing

By
Real Estate Agent with RE/Max Associates DE#R1-0003085 PA#RS347136

Despite the frigid temperatures, a group of parents gathered tonight to continue working on fundraising and plans for the After Prom at Mount Pleasant High School. The biggest item on the agenda was the impending Art Auction slated for this Saturday. In addition to the works of art that the auctioneer will be bringing, we’ve gathered donations for a silent auction. I’m impressed with my fellow parents: a week in St. Lucia, a Cole Hamels autographed baseball, a $200 Disney gift card, a 3-day weekend at a beach house in Avalon, restaurant gift certificates, winery tours, brewery tours, paintball excursions, oil changes, pizza and gift baskets and massages... The list goes on. We wrapped up the list of what we still have to do and then turned our discussion to our common theme: how do we get more parents involved? There are about 200 graduating seniors and yet we only see about 12 to 15 of the same faces at the monthly meetings. Why is that?

meeting

It’s common in all the groups for which I volunteer. Band boosters: about 15 people at each meeting. Choral boosters: about eight people at each meeting. Public Policy committee: about 10-15 at each meeting. And yet, just open your facebook and read your news feed. If yours is anything like mine, there are countless people complaining about things: elected officials, things not being done right in their community, crime, etc.  Yet who is raising their hand to help?

meeting

I offered a suggestion tonight. We should send a flyer to each of the seniors in the class via their English class (they all attend that class so we can reach them all there) and tell them that we’ve cancelled the After Prom (in LARGE print, ALL CAPS, and B.O.L.D.) and then in small print at the bottom, continue the message... Unless you get your parents involved.  One of the other parents pointed out the obvious flaw in my plan. The majority will only read the headline and will then assume it’s cancelled. Period. We’ve decided that it will be best if we can get phone numbers and make personal calls to each of the parents. Due to privacy policies, we can’t just ask the school for the numbers, so we’ll have to lure them in. I have a few plans for that.

But honestly, it gets tiring trying to figure out how to get people to just raise their hand to help. Once you do get involved, it’s fun. You get to know new people. You get to help make sure your own kids have a great time. You get to figure out who you’d really like your kids to hang out with... And you get to, as a friend of mine once said, “Justify the space you occupy and have fun doing it.”

I’m reminded of a poem I once heard that I’ve never forgotten. It’s called “We the Willing.” I have no idea who the author is, having memorized it at least 40 years ago.

"We the willing led by the unknowing

Are doing the impossible for the ungrateful

We have done so much for so long with so little

We are now qualified to do anything with nothing."

 

Ever have one of those days? I’m sure you have. And yet we persist because we know that there are some who ARE grateful and we know that what we do DOES make a difference.

 If you’ve got a solution to my “get the parents involved” scheme, let me know.

 

If you’re feeling unappreciated for the things you do, consider this my letter to you of thanks. What you do does matter.

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Rainmaker
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Charles Stallions Property Manager
Charles Stallions Real Estate Services - Pace, FL
Pensacola, Pace & Gulf Breeze Property Management

I always ask for $50. from each parent or the equivalent of time. I find that some need a little personal prodding from be shy or left out of most happenings in the past. Divide the total by the members and play some one on one 

Jan 22, 2014 01:28 PM #1
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Monica Hill
RE/Max Associates - Wilmington, DE
the REALTOR to help you discover Delaware

Michelle, Good advice. I looked at how much we have in hand right now and how much we need total. If we don't raise another dime, we'll need about $100 per attendee, so I think your $50 per is right on target, taking our other fundraisers into account. Thanks!

Jan 22, 2014 01:47 PM #2
Rainmaker
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Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good morning again Monica. I loved the title and the poem is terrific.Some folks just don't get it and will never get in the swing. It's just the way it is. Have a good day.

Jan 22, 2014 08:23 PM #3
Rainmaker
249,570
Monica Hill
RE/Max Associates - Wilmington, DE
the REALTOR to help you discover Delaware

Morning, Sheila. The poem just fits at certain times. You're right... some don't. So we just do what we need to and move on. 

Jan 22, 2014 10:42 PM #4
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John Meussner
Mason-McDuffie Mortgage, Conventional Loans, Jumbo Loans, FHA, 203(k), USDA, VA, - Walnut Creek, CA
#MortgageMadeEasy Walnut Creek, CA 484-680-4852

It usually is the small group that gets the most done, with the large group complaining about how things are being done!  How about that same flyer distributed to each student, with a large, bold "MORE PARENTS NEEDED" and then in small print "or after prom may need to be cancelled".  I think that would get the point across.  It is a shame that more parents aren't involved.

Jan 23, 2014 02:36 AM #5
Rainmaker
249,570
Monica Hill
RE/Max Associates - Wilmington, DE
the REALTOR to help you discover Delaware

Thanks, John. I'll play with that design. 

I'm also putting out a call for models for the Fashion Show we're having next month. I might put a bonus on it that preference it given to models whose parents attend the meetings!  :-)  I'll probably be told I can't do that though. 

Jan 23, 2014 02:42 AM #6
Rainmaker
249,570
Monica Hill
RE/Max Associates - Wilmington, DE
the REALTOR to help you discover Delaware

Thanks, John. I'll play with that design. 

I'm also putting out a call for models for the Fashion Show we're having next month. I might put a bonus on it that preference it given to models whose parents attend the meetings!  :-)  I'll probably be told I can't do that though. 

Jan 23, 2014 02:42 AM #7
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Rainmaker
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Monica Hill

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