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Offering volunteers a range of tasks that can be done fairly simply (and many at their convenience) increases your chances of getting them on board.


Editor's note: We’ve updated this article with more ways to be involved when you can’t be in the school building.

Take-Home Tasks

“Flex time” and at-home jobs can attract people who can’t commit to being at the school regularly. Offer jobs like:

  • maintaining the parent group website

  • maintaining and update group’s social channels (Facebook, Instagram, etc.)

  • stuffing envelopes

  • editing the newsletter

  • preparing flyers for events

  • helping with ongoing passive fundraisers like AmazonSmile

Other Ways To Be Involved When Schools Aren't Open to Volunteers

You can help keep your parent group going by offering ways for people to contribute when things aren't normal:

Administrative/School or Classroom Jobs

Some school volunteers work best with a set schedule and predictable tasks, so work with office staff and teachers to come up with jobs that can be done on a straightforward schedule. Such jobs include:

  • photocopying

  • filing

  • working with kids in the classroom (reading, flash cards, projects, etc.)

  • working at office reception desk

  • volunteering at the library

  • doing lunch/recess duty

Challenge accepted! Concrete steps for a great start to the school year

Occasional or Event-Based Opportunities

Offer periodic volunteer activities for those with limited time. Volunteers can help by:

  • preparing food or decorating for Teacher Appreciation Week

  • preparing food for parent/teacher conferences (when teachers are required to stay late at school)

  • working a specific, short aspect of an event (passing out waters at a fun run, manning a station at a student breakfast, cleaning up after an event, etc.)

Help With Errands

Delegating some to dos to a few school volunteers instead of taking them on yourself eases your load while making them feel useful. Think of tasks like:

  • buying food or other supplies

  • dropping off paperwork

  • helping with flyers, packets, materials, or delivery

Utilizing Talents and Skills

Many parents have just the right skills or interests to make them perfect candidates for specific types of enrichment. Chances are you have people willing to take part in:

  • teaching an after-school class or hobby

  • helping with the art show or other art activities

  • organizing an author visit

  • participating in a science or STEM event

  • participating in a math event

Simple Service

Spearheading a simple community service effort doesn’t take a lot of time but makes a big difference. Easy ways to help the community include:

  • organizing a holiday-time collection of toys or food for needy families

  • collecting coats and other winter wear (mittens, hats, etc.)

  • collecting gently used towels for animals at a shelter or veterinary office

  • organizing the creation and collection of no-sew blankets for pets or a children’s hospital

In addition to offering easy jobs, using a pledge program like PTO Today's 2 Hour Power can help you get the help you need for your parent group and school.

Originally posted in 2016 and updated regularly. 2 Hour Power™ is a trademark of School Family Media®.

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