Make a Difference Day, which will be celebrated this year on Oct. 25, is an annual day to focus on community service and celebrate the importance of helping others.
We know PTOs and PTAs know a little something about this, right?
Here are 10 ideas for making a difference from by parent group leaders and volunteers that have been posted in our Idea Bag section or featured in articles on the site.
1. Work with room parents so each class can make a make a pumpkin or apple pie from scratch. Each class pie can be delivered to local police and fire stations for Thanksgiving.
2. Ask families to donate small stuffed animals and kids’ winter pajamas. Bundle pj’s with stuffed animals and deliver to shelters in winter.
3. Put together a cleanup crew in fall and winter to do a one-day sprucing up of the school grounds.
4. Instead of hold a canned goods collection, hold a personal items drive. Coordinate with a local food pantry to find out what kinds of supplies, like soaps, shampoos, and laundry detergent, are needed.
5. Hold a “Swap ’Til You Drop” clothing event. Families donate used clothing that your parent group can sort by size. Hold the collection on a weekend during a two-hour block of time. Families can stop by, collect some clothing, and not spend a dime.
6. Create a volunteer appreciation garden at the school in spring. Plant a few bushes along with perennial flowers at an area on the school grounds as a way to say thanks to all the parents who help out.
7. If your group runs a community service project like a food or toy drive, work with the children involved in the project to create a newsletter about the project so they can let others know about the work they did. This will help them better understand the purpose of helping out as well as educate other kids.
8. Try a buddy family program. A family familiar with the school “adopts” a new family and helps shows them around and is available to answer questions.
9. Set up a community service club for students and try something like a knitting project. Students can knit something simple, like hats or scarves, that can be delivered to a local children’s hospital.
10. Hold a school supply collection at the end of the school year to collect gently used supplies. Provide the supplies to school administrators, who will know how to get the supplies to families in need.