Sunday, August 17, 2008

Letter to the Editor

An open letter to the editor:

If someone asks you to help at your kids' school, please don't say, "I work", "I don't have time", "I'm a very busy person", or "I'm a single parent". I don't care. I am so over your excuses.

Do NOT tell me that you work. We all work. Some of us work full time, some of us work part time, and some of us even work double time. Don't assume that because you see me at school helping out that I don't work. I do. I work 3 jobs. They don't pay much, but they do indeed pay. I am highly educated. I'm not stupid. Most of us who volunteer at the school have a college education and a work history that would blow your socks off.

Do NOT tell me that you are a busy person. We are all busy. I have kids at two schools - just like you. I have laundry to do, a house to clean, and appointments to keep - just like you. I am a member of a church that puts on a festival for 10,000 people every Memorial Day weekend. I know busy. I live it. I have the gray hair and dark circles to prove it. If you could be bothered to help out once a year, I'd have fewer gray hairs.

Do NOT tell the volunteer at the desk that you are a single parent with no time. The person you told that to is a single parent, too. Just because she has a wedding band on her finger does not mean that her husband is here. He is working out of state to provide for his family. She is doing it all - by herself - AND she is working... just like you.

Do NOT tell me that your child doesn't want you to chaperone the dances. My kid would prefer I wasn't there either. Believe me! I can think of at least 100 ways I would rather spend a couple hours on a Friday afternoon. I know that if I don't chaperone, there won't be a dance. We need 10 chaperones, but we often make do with far fewer, Why? Because if we cancel, the kids would be disappointed. The kids look forward to the dances and the socials. If you did your share, it would be a far more pleasant afternoon.

Do NOT tell me that you simply cannot chaperone a dance or a social because you can't make it to the school at 3:30 on a Friday afternoon. Puhleeze! If you are going on vacation or skiing for the weekend, you manage to get yourself there at 3:15 to pick up your kid. Sorry, your story isn't workin' for me.

Do NOT tell me that you can't spare any time. I don't believe you. You have time to get your hair and nails done. You have time to go on vacation. You have time to go to the mall. You have time for wine tasting and time to go to dinner with friends. Obviously, your priorities are skewed.

If the same ten people stopped doing, nothing would get done. There would be no dances, no picnics, no field trips. Nothing... Nada... Zip. Let me tell you something: The same ten people are tired of doing it all. We need the rest of you to step up, help out, and pull your weight.


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