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Renfroe PTA’s Serve-A-Thon fundraiser inspires students to volunteer their time

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Renfroe PTA’s Serve-A-Thon fundraiser inspires students to volunteer their time

Image provided to Decaturish

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Image provided to Decaturish

This year, the Renfroe Middle School PTA decided to switch up their fundraising efforts. Rather than commercialized fundraising – such as selling wrapping paper from catalogs – middle schooler students are participating in the first Serve-A-Thon.

“At the elementary schools in Decatur, they put on a Read-A-Thon. In the 4/5, they do a Math-A-Thon,” Decatur parent and Renfroe PTA member, Jenn Ballentine said, “So with middle schoolers, we wanted to something more meaningful. It has the same principles, but appeals more to middle schoolers.”

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During Serve-A-Thon, students choose a volunteer activity to participate in, and then seek pledges to support them for their time. As Ballentine said, “Middle schoolers like to be out with their friends and share on social media. They all want to be part of a bigger effort.”

Serve-A-Thon includes more than 40 different ways for students and families to volunteer in the community, consisting of opportunities at the Wylde Center, Hagar’s House, Intown Collaborative Ministries, Decatur Parks and Rec, Woodlands Gardens, Trees Atlanta, Sunrise Assisted Living, Decatur Library, and many more.

In addition to the variety of volunteer opportunities provided, some students are creating their own to raise money, whether that be babysitting for a family friend or raking a neighbor’s yard for free.

“The idea is that in lieu of selling commercialized products, we just set up volunteer events,” Ballentine said. “Kids this age are able and willing, and we’ll be able to raise the same amount of money, but in such a more meaningful way.”

The PTA is in charge of heading up fundraisers to support teachers and various activities at schools, such as eighth grade celebrations, dances, teacher grants, and field trips. Ballentine said the Serve-A-Thon has “very low costs” because half of the profits are not given back to a catalog company.

Volunteering begins today, Feb. 28, and lasts for two weeks, through March 14.

The PTA will recognize and award the grade with the most volunteer hours.

With the size of the student body at Renfroe, if each student raises $15, the PTA will reach their Serve-A-Thon fundraising goal of $20,000. So far, the students have raised more than $3,000 in pledges.

For more information about how to donate, visit www.firstgiving.com/event/renfroemiddle/serve-a-thon.

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