I get no (monetary) pay. I get no medical benefits. I get no "vacation pay" or "Holiday pay". I have been "promoted", though since the beginning of the year.
I'm a Volunteer! And I am also the Assistant Volunteer Coordinator for my children's Elementary School.
And I love EVERY single moment of it. Even though it can be tiring, and at times, overwhelming.
Take this past week. We have held a "Holiday Boutique" for the kids. From Pre-K, all the way up through the Fifth Grade classes. We sold things from just twenty-five cent items, up to no more than ONE dollar.
Many of our kids have family (including us, somewhat again) that are struggling just to buy their children presents for Christmas and Hanukkah. And knowing kids, they want to buy for Grandma, Mom, siblings and even their friends. But can't due to the financial strains.
So, thanks to the PTO Board, and one really awesome mom I know of, and that I worked closely with to pull it all together, we opened the "Holiday Boutique" for two days. And the kids went NUTS (in a good way) about buying for their loved ones.
And because of the two-day event being such a success, and pulling in OVER $500 in EIGHT HOURS time (between the two days), we have decided (after I said I'd be willing to do so, and got the approval from the boss lady... AKA the Principal) that we will be open for ONE more day to purchase donated goods (via the teachers, other staff and some of the parents, including yours truly).
To see these kids come in, smiling from ear-to-ear, knowing that they CAN buy things for those that they love and care about, and being SO excited to hand over the money for their purchase, it IS MY version of "being paid".
As well as the "thanks for helping me", "thanks for letting me get this for my mom/dad/whomever", the hugs and just seeing their day being a little brighter. That is all worth so much more than the almighty dollar being given to me for all that I have done, do, and will do for that school and those kids.
Thanks to all of the parents that have donated or even have helped me with the actual sale days. Thanks to all of the teachers and other faculty of the school for helping with giving donations.
And a huge thanks to "my" kids who have made every bit of stress, every ache and pain and every trip to the school's office to hand over money (LOTS of times lol) worth it. Your excitement and smiles made every second worth it all.