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Give Local: Volunteering While Following in My Mom’s Footsteps

By November 11, 2020November 20th, 2020Connections, Volunteer
Laura Gaffney Grand Ridge Elementary PTSA

Grand Ridge Elementary PTSA

I have vivid memories of my mom volunteering and leading Parent Teacher Association (PTA) committees at my school growing up, most notably when she was chairperson for my school’s fundraising auction. Fast forward many years to 2017. My daughter was in second grade at Grand Ridge Elementary School and I found out the Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA) was organizing a spring auction and needed planning committee volunteers. I figured signing up would be a great way to get to know other parents and it would be fun to follow a volunteer path similar to my mom’s.

The experience turned out to be all that and more. I made friendships with parents whose kids are in different grades than mine, learned more about how PTSA fundraising makes a difference at Grand Ridge Elementary, and saw the many ways the PTSA can help bring different skill sets together to enhance our students’ experience. That initial experience led me to take on additional PTSA volunteer roles and join the board.

I am now in my second term as president of the Grand Ridge Elementary PTSA. It is incredibly rewarding getting to know more families and seeing the impact of PTSA funding and volunteer resources at the school – from the pride in student faces at the Reflections art reception or talent show, to improvements to the playground, to the laughter and fun families have on the dance floor at Falloween.

Because of COVID-19, most of our local PTSAs are not hosting big community nights and other school day events like usual, but there is still programming and planning underway. We always have room for volunteers – whether you only have one hour to share or more. While people often think about our volunteer roles that engage with students, there are many behind-the-scenes roles for writers, designers, accountants, and others.

For volunteer information, visit or your local PTSA website.

Photo: Laura and her daughter, Anna, at the Grand Ridge Elementary PTSA-sponsored drama club play in April 2019. 

As published in November 2020 Connections >>