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Outstanding Volunteer and other awards

My husband kiddingly tells me that I volunteer too much. My mom always says I didn’t learn the word “No” as I am always doing something for the kids’ schools or my neighborhood.

Well, I guess this proves them right.

Last week, I received an Outstanding Volunteer award from my local school district. I was picked because I was one of the top volunteers at my daughter’s elementary school last year.

Yep, I am a volunteering fool it seems.

Last year, I was first vice president of the PTA at my daughter’s elementary school. But all my volunteer hours didn’t come from there. Being the crazy woman I am, I also was treasurer at the PTA at my son’s middle school. As an officer on two parent-teacher associations, I attend a lot of meetings and volunteer a lot of time to ensure our programs were a success. (This year I am president at the elementary and still treasurer at the middle school.)

Schools nowadays are trying to offer the best education they can, but their budgets keep getting cut every year. They now rely on volunteers to help out the teachers with copies, mentoring students, or through the PTA provide student-enrichment programs such as science night, author visits, art projects, red ribbon week speakers and more.

According to the superintendent of our school district, there were over 13,000 volunteers logging over 340,000 volunteer hours which equated to $9.5 million contributed to the district. Wow! That is huge!

And it seems that a lot of the volunteers must be at the two school my kids are at as both schools won the Gold Star award for having the most volunteer hours at an elementary and a middle school in our school district last year.

This technically is not the first time I have been recognized for volunteering. For the three years, I have received the Silver Presidential Volunteer Service Award which is given by the U.S. president to any volunteer who logs between 250 and 499 hours. For last year, I won the Gold PVSA award which means I logged in over 500 volunteer hours.

Well, of course you know I am only doing all this for the awards. Just kidding. I do it because I want to be involved in my kids’ schools. They love seeing me there. And I feel like I am making a difference not just for them but for all the students.

And in order to volunteer as often as I do give up something. I give up my precious writing time. This is why it took me three years between my fourth and fifth books. I would like to be able to crank out stories as fast as some other authors, but I can’t do it. I can’t not be involved in my kids’ school while they are still young. One day they will be older and off on their own and then I can devote all my time to writing. Until then, I will just keep volunteering. (And earning those awards!)

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