Why I Volunteer - Olivia Wenholz

Olivia Wenholz has been P&C President at Harrison School for three years. We asked her why she volunteers her time.

My mum was always very involved in our community, so it was really a default to believe that it’s a fuller and more satisfying life if you can leave your community better than you found it. It’s just very rewarding.Harrison School Movie Night 1

There can be a lot of work involved and it can be draining, but it is also very fulfilling. I wouldn’t want to give it up!

For just a small amount of effort or time, you get a lot of appreciation back - so many smiles, and thanks from the kids, parents, teachers and other volunteers. When you see the kids reading the readers you fundraised for, or using the seats and play equipment that the P&C donated, it’s all worth it!

There‘s also the advocacy work that a P&C does. That makes the school a better place too. A parent can take on a passion project, like revising the uniform policy or setting up a recycling program. Then it’s so rewarding to see the kids playing freely in unisex uniforms, or recycling their rubbish.

Those things wouldn’t have happened without you. And they’ll last after you!

There’s a quote attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson:

To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.

So much of what a P&C does fits with this definition of success. Being part of the P&C, for me, feels like success.

Image: Bec, Bronwyn and Olivia – part of the Harrison P&C team, at last year’s school movie night.

Find out what makes other volunteers tick!