Friday, May 16, 2014

Honors Society & Volunteering

You may or may not remember the other year when Brielle (my oldest) got into National Junior Beta Club (Beta Club). It is an Honor Society where there is a focus on not only grades but also community involvement. Beta Club also hosts competitions which Brielle had the honor of making it into the top percent for the spelling bee we were very proud of her.

Not only did Beta Club require the student to go to the monthly meetings and keep a high grade point average but they also require 10 hours of volunteer work every 9 weeks.

This year things changed a little as the teachers that were the supports for Beta Club left the school it meant things were changing. This year the students were in National Junior Honor Society. This didn't change much else other than no longer having competitions.

10 hours every 9 weeks doesn't sound like a lot but when you've got a forgetful teenager that think there is all the time in the world and two parents that work on top of trying to take care of other children then suddenly things get a bit harder.

This 9 weeks has been exceptionally hard as Brielle kept saying there weren't volunteer opportunities posted and then later said she missed all of the opportunities. I have been on full scramble trying to finding opportunities for her.

So last week I got Brielle signed up at the YMCA to volunteer which was very hard believe it or not because they wanted references and though Brielle has volunteered before I didn't have any reference information. It too some convincing and I volunteered with her though I didn't fill out the forms for myself but that made the people at the YMCA more comfortable.
Last Friday she volunteered 3.5 hours and then that next day we started our day before 5am to get her down to volunteering by 5:30 where she put in 5 hours of time.

8.5 hours down and then just needed to find another 1.5 hours. Though a little easier said than done.

What people may or may not know about me is I have severe anxiety problems so when faced with new people, places and situations I'm put on high alert stress. Many of these I've learned loop holes so I could continue to function in society but others I have not. that is why you don't hear about me trying to get her set up at the homeless shelter or soup kitchen because I hadn't been backed s far into the corner that I had to address that stress yet.... but back to topic.

So I filled out the volunteer information for the pubic library weeks ago but they won't contact us back about letting her volunteer. The hospital won't take volunteers until the summer for people under 18, also.
Where did this leave me? Well with volunteering with the Extension Service which I will retouch and volunteering with the Humane Society.

I thought the Humane Society would be a great chance and I still think it would be for the future but not this month. The application is not only long, requiring references but also requiring medical forms from the doctors office which I can understand why but it makes it very frustrating.

So we are back to the Extension Service which is hosting it's 100 year Celebration today. I would have gotten her signed up to volunteer earlier for this but I thought we would have had a shorter application time with the Humane Society. I am currently waiting for a phone call to find out if she can volunteer there this afternoon though we will have to leave no later than 5:30 so we can get home and get her dressed for her 8th Grade Spring Dance tonight starting at 7.

Given the need of volunteer time and all the activities going on Peter is skipping his normal night out to play cards to instead take care of Katherine down at the celebration at least until I have Brielle dropped off at her dance.

In other months the volunteering wasn't so hard especially right before Thanksgiving with the food drives and right around Christmas with so many charities needing help with paperwork, sorting, etc. Right now is just that sweet spot for missing things and really if I was a more aggressive person I probably wouldn't have these sorts of problems but no matter what it does eat into time.

Honor Societies are a wonderful thing and can give kids a leg up when they are looking at going off too college but just be prepared as a parent to be signing up to volunteer your time too. Always thank your volunteers also because they are giving up their time and effort to help make great things happen.

It really is surprising how hard though it can be to get started in volunteering and how much like applying for a job it is. Just the application process and always checking back in on it. It might be a good learning experience for kids to learn the frustrations they will probably face as adults. I do wish it wasn't this much of a headache though because even I would be more open to volunteering more. In a way all this red tape kind of hurts these non-profit organizations. But that's just my opinion.

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