How connected is your school community? If a family is going through a tough time and needs help, who can they turn to? What systems are in place among the parent body that actively encourage volunteering and allow people to help?
Schools are busy places and parents busy people. No matter how good our intentions, if nothing is organised then things get forgotten and people miss out on the support that others are so willing to give.
That's where Lovlist comes in.
A Lovlist is a List of Volunteers that operates like a roster to give assistance when and where it is needed. A Lovlist is a way to organise meals and other help to parents and families who need a little extra support. Whatever the situation, be it grief, illness or the birth of a new baby, by creating a Lovlist parents can help to coordinate efficient and meaningful care.
Lovlists can operate in two ways:
- They can be established to assist in a specific instance, to help an individual or family in crisis. An example of this might be a roster set up to organise meals or childcare for a family with a parent in hospital.
- Lovlists can be ongoing, responding to need as it arises. Such a lovlist is set up by a parent coordinator who recruits volunteers who can be called upon at short notice. When assistance is needed for one or many members of the community, the parent coordinator mobilises these volunteers, liaises with families and coordinates rosters.
Lovlists are flexible and can be tailored to any situation. The type of help volunteers can coordinate through a lovlist could include such things as:
- Meal rosters
- Help with transport
- Homework help
- Housework or help in the garden
- Grocery shopping
We've all been in a situation where we hear of someone we know who is doing it tough, but we don't feel that it is our place to get involved for we don't know the person well, or we assume that someone else is helping them out. Sadly, often no-one is. Establishing a Lovlist at your school will ensure that help is available to people when they need it. Lovlists let everyone in the community know where to go to ask for, or to offer, assistance.
Integral to the Lovlist concept is a respect for privacy. Lovlist understands that although people may be in need of assistance, they do not necessarily want to scream this out to all the world. Help is offered, not forced and Lovlist coordinators should use discretion at all times.
Lovlists strengthen school communities. They give people the opportunity to to come together to share time and talents to lighten the load for those in need. Parents and families are able to make a positive contribution to the wellbeing of others and as a result, they become more engaged in the school community.
Find out how you can start your school Lovlist today. All the tools you need to get your group up and running are available here. And check back regularly with Lovlist for resources to support you and your group in your efforts to help others.