The Lancer Parent Organization (LPO) is composed of parents that volunteer their time and help raise funds in order to support the Lafayette community. This year, however, the LPO is struggling to find parent volunteers to serve on the board, help at the school store and help with other activities.
Parent volunteer Carren Rogan has been serving as the treasurer for the LPO for the past 10 years. She has noticed a decline in the number of parents during that time.
“We have parents who are leaving. Their last kid is either a senior or a junior, and so they’re going to be gone in a year or two and finding someone to come in and replace them has been difficult; getting volunteers to come into the school store and help collect money, stock shelves, all that kind of stuff. We seem to be an immediate society where we want to have everything right now. Giving time to people is not on the top of our list. I definitely feel that it started before COVID-19, but it’s gotten worse,” Rogan said.
The treasurer along with the president dedicate one to two hours a week to the LPO outside of school. The beginning of the year is busy, but, as the school year continues, the job requires a smaller time commitment.
Rogan said, “Both [roles] can be done at night. You don’t have to be a stay-at-home mom, you can be working.”
Parent volunteer Michelle McSpadden has been working for the LPO for the past five years. On Monday afternoons she serves as the Lancers Landing store manager and she also comes in to fill canceled shifts throughout the week.
“We need probably two parent volunteers and then a manager that’s also here. We need those two parents out there to really make it go smoothly and have shorter lines. I think in the mornings they definitely struggle and also in the afternoons it’s more of people signing up but then not showing up sometimes,” McSpadden said.
Finding volunteers has been challenging partially due to the fact that outreach for recruitment is often done through social media.
“I think part of the problem is people can ignore emails and social media. We’re talking to people we know. Everybody we know are people that are already doing stuff. It’s a lot harder to say no to a face than it is to scroll through Instagram. If you want to volunteer there are places to find how to volunteer. I just think it’s easy to ignore the needs because it’s not a face-to-face thing,” Rogan said.
Rogan believes volunteering time rather than just donating comes with many blessings that one may not expect.
“I think I have a better understanding of my student like my personal children, what they experience at school, who their friends are, who their teachers are, who their administration is, so I’m getting a lot for myself,” Rogan said. “It makes me feel good. People who volunteer a lot would tell you the same thing. They’re getting more than they are giving but if you don’t have that and all you think is well they just need my money then you’re not understanding the community, the spirit, the give-back and give- to,” Rogan said.
McSpadden also finds joy in getting involved with the school and getting to see her kids during their school day.
“Hopefully we bring a smile to kids’ faces,” McSpadden said. “It’s just nice to see the kids and put a smile on their face and just see them enjoying something that’s, you know, small like just coming in to get snacks,” McSpadden said.
More information about the LPO and how to get involved is located on their website.