Back to School Cool: Organizing and Planning Help

It’s “back to school time” – the time of year when children shed tears of dread and parents shed tears of joy!

I’ve never quite understood that. I’ve always felt that the beginning of the school year is also the beginning of extra stress in our lives, and especially to mom’s workload – especially since I’m one of those moms who volunteers a lot.  Did I say a lot? A lot.

School, to me, means less family time, more homework, earlier mornings, cruddy school lunches (or the stress of packing them daily), fund-raisers, and collecting and spending on new books, new uniforms, and even toilet paper for the class rooms these days!  And, oh yeah – less “free time” for mom!

It also means overload on scheduling and organizing and calendar-izing (new word, just made it up) for homeroom events, field trips, music lessons, and after school clubs and sports – with almost every night of the week filled to the brim with activities and commitments.

So, ‘back-to-school’ for me has pretty much always meant, “Buckle up for more stress and more chaos!”

Cross Country Meet2This year, even though we’ve chosen to homeschool, we’re not exempt from it all. Only now, I only have myself to blame –mostly. Our calendar is still packed with after-school activities, sports, and lessons! I’m the teacher and every other job combined in our little homeschool academy, and I find that I’m spending nearly as much time planning and organizing as I am teaching every day.

And, to top it all off, I just found out today that I have to take over co-coaching my youngest son’s cross country team – yikes!!!

Organizing and planning team activities is going to take every last bit of the organizing and planning energy I have left.  That’s why I am so happy to have found an excellent online tool to help folks like me. (And, I have to tell you that even though this is a sponsored post and I am receiving compensation, I would use this tool a million times over anyway – especially since it’s FREE!)

VolunteerSpot is this amazing, FREE, online organization tool, available to any of us who especially needs help in getting things done!  VolunteerSpot will help you to efficiently organize helpers, conferences, potlucks & events without all of the annoying ‘reply-all’ emails, spreadsheets, and paper sign-up sheets that get lost (sometimes conveniently lost?  Did I just type that out loud?).

It is free, it’s easy to use, it’s safe and secure, and you can even collect money, easily and securely!  Oh, how I wish I’d had this when I was collecting money for a friend’s wedding gift from a group with over 100 members a few months ago!  The headaches of trying to manage all of the money coming in via cash, checks, “IOU/I’ll pay ya later’s,” and even the use of an online payment system about killed me!  Keeping it all updated on my homemade spreadsheet system was enough to nearly send me to the funny farm. I wish I’d known about VolunteerSpot’s ability to help collect money then.

For volunteers, you can even track hours contributed, send alerts, run reports, and export data.  What’s not to love? And another thing for which I often find myself organizing, collecting, and planning – FAMILY REUNIONS! Don’t we all need help when it comes to corralling and organizing extended family adventures?  Especially when they involve travel and organizing meals.

Oh yeah – did I mention VolunteerSpot is ALWAYS FREE?!!

So, if your child is participating with mine in any sport or event in which I’m involved in the organizing and planning, you can be sure that you’ll have the opportunity to try out VolunteerSpot with me.  Parents bringing snacks for cross country meets, I’m talking to YOU!  We’ll be using these free online snack sign-up sheets for sure!

And, here’s a winner, winner, chicken dinner:  VolunteerSpot is celebrating Back to School with a HUGE sweepstakes where you can win more than $20,000 in prizes for you and your school!  The current theme is “After School Cool”– some of the great prizes you can win for you AND your child’s afterschool group including a $500 Amex card (to fund uniforms, a trip, a celebration), $150 Care.com FreeTime credits, and $75 Cabot Creamery gift packs with enough artisan cheese to snack up the whole team, gift cards and more! Plus you’ll be automatically entered to win a $1,500 grant for your favorite school! 

Click on the banner below to enter the contest.  Don’t hesitate – just enter to win for you and your school now!  I’m on my way!

VolunteerSpot Banner1

 

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