Building and nourishing community through mutual aid, volunteering, fundraising, and more
The Puddletown community engages in mutual aid in a number of ways throughout the year by responding to specific or ongoing needs in the school community and the larger community of which we are a part. Some examples of mutual aid and supporting one another are:
- Puddletown’s Family/Caregiver Association amaintains a Family Support Committee that organizes help for Puddletown families going through challenging life events.
- Puddletown regularly raises funds for scholarships for families who would otherwise be unable to take advantage of early education or Montessori for their child(ten).
- Puddletown’s Family/Caregiver Association regularly organizes food and clothing drives regularly for local organizations.
- Children are active participants in mutual aid and older learners often research and organize mutual aid efforts. For example, Puddletown’s 8-12 year olds organized a fundraiser and supply drive for the People’s Store, who provide mobile mutual aid to unhoused people in the Portland area. See more on our blog. During summer camp, 3-6 year old children created “Heatwave Snack Bags” and pb&j sandwiches during summer to be shared to PDX Free Fridge.
- Puddletown staff makes monthly donations in support of Native communities. For the year 2022, staff voted to direct these funds to Peacekeeper Society.
Volunteering is critical to the success of our school, both physically and in building a sense of community. Every family is asked to contribute their talents and time to fundraising, community projects and/or classroom endeavors.
Some of our past volunteer opportunities:
- material making for the classrooms (sewing, cutting, photocopying, etc)
- chaperoning an Elementary “Going Out” adventure
- taking part in a committee on the Family/Caregiver Association
- attending some or all of our Community Education offerings
- participating in community Anti-Bias Anti-Racist committee meetings
- mentoring a family new to Puddletown
- being a part of one of our fundraisers (auctions, work-a-thons, carnivals, Piepalooza, etc)
- working on the grounds (repair projects, deep cleaning, weeding and maintaining the garden)
We require a minimum of 10 volunteer hours (15 hours if more than one child is enrolled and half time for a mid year enrollment). A per-hour payment of $20/hour is charged at the end of the school year for families who have not reached this minimum level. Puddletown makes every effort to connect families to volunteer work that fits their interests and abilities, and our goal is that no one uses the payment option. If you would like to volunteer but are unsure of how you can help, drop us an email, and we will let you know what projects we are currently working on.
Fundraisers, scholarship fund, wish lists and Puddletown swag
Community-building events and community-minded shopping opportunities help make Puddletown a thriving space that is welcoming to all.
Puddletown relies on the support of our community to offer full and partial scholarships to families who would otherwise be unable to take advantage of early education or Montessori for their child. Contact the office for information on contributing, and watch for fundraising events throughout the year with proceeds directed to the scholarship fund.
A fun, adult-focused community event raises the majority of our funds for the scholarship. For many years, this was an auction known as Puddletown Hall. Since 2020, the Family/Caregiver Association been coming up with COVID-safe, fun alternatives to a large in-person event. We’ve very much enjoyed Piepalooza pie baking and delivery, and trivia parties with costume contests via Zoom.
Fundraising for school improvements (including equitable discounts for families)
The Puddletown community enjoys an annual carnival made possible by the Family/Caregiver Association and Puddletown’s elementary learners. Favorite perennial attractions include face painting, staff/caregiver dunk tank, kid’s talent show/open mic, advice booth staffed by elementary students, fresh-pressed apple cider, and fresh made-to-order donuts.
Shopping with Puddletown in mind
- Piepalooza, classroom placemats, wall calendars, Puddletown gear (t-shirts, hats, shades, rain ponchos, bags), child created cds and cookbooks are all available. Reach out to the office for more info, and use our PayPal here.
- For Small Hands is a strong resource for mindful and Montessori-inspired items for children’s environments. Earn credit for Puddletown by including our customer code (201460).
- Love books? Check out our Bookshop.org wishlists for our community’s adult library (from which all caregivers can borrow) or for our central children’s library (from which all of the classrooms borrow).
- We are also Powell’s Partners. When you make a Powell’s Books purchase through via our unique Powell’s url, Puddletown receives a percentage of the purchase.
- We’ve signed up as Amazon Associates. So if you’re browsing Amazon, either our wishlist or for your personal enjoyment, Puddletown can receive a percentage of your purchase if you start by browsing through our link (link to come).
- Classroom wish lists & mutual aid! For anyone family that would like to offer a gift to a Puddletown program, please feel free to peruse the Classroom Wish Lists.