TAPS Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Teen and Parent Service Society (TAPS)? 

The purpose of TAPS, as a private, non-profit organization, is to provide high school girls with a variety of community service opportunities. Teens and parents volunteer in a variety of support areas including animal rescue therapy, childcare, civic, environmental, health, and social welfare. Throughout a teen’s high school years, TAPS teens develop valuable leadership, organization, and teamwork skills. TAPS parents support this learning process and work alongside them in volunteer activities. TAPS’ purpose is exclusively educational, service- oriented, and charitable. TAPS strives for members to work directly with those in need and does not fundraise. 

How did TAPS begin? How large is the organization today? 

TAPS was organized to address the unmet need for service opportunities in the greater Walnut Creek and Diablo Valley communities. In 2002, Melanie Knoth English, along with Christy Deibert, Rhonda Montgomery and Cindy Sakai, founded the Teen and Parent Service Society (TAPS). Today, TAPS is a group of close to 100 teens and parents dedicated to helping others in our community. 

What are the TAPS community service projects? 

TAPS’ signature volunteer projects are with Love-A-Child Missions Homeless Recovery Shelter. Love-A-Child serves needy women and children of Contra Costa County by providing emergency shelter, food, clothing, and hope through substance recovery programs, job training, and educational support. In the summer, TAPS teens partner with local high school boys to teach Love-a-Child children how to swim through our JUMPIN! Program. During the school year, TAPS teen and parent members have worked at Love-A-child refurbishing gardens, providing a carnival of games and activities, preparing and serving a residents lunch, organizing a shopping event with donated clothing, and entertaining residents with a Fall Festival and April's Angels activities. 

TAPS also provides volunteers to other community projects, including Walnut Creek Community Service Day, Monument Crisis Center, Trinity Center, Bay Area Crisis Nursery, Food Bank of Contra Costa, Disaster Relief, Crossroads High School, and many other groups. 

What are the benefits of joining TAPS? 

The most significant benefit is the personal satisfaction of making a positive contribution in our community. TAPS teens and parents develop leadership skills, work directly with other local leaders, and build relationships with diverse, dedicated and talented people in the community. Members learn about the Walnut Creek and Diablo Valley communities and how to work with other organizations to achieve a common goal. 

What is the cost to belong to TAPS? 

Active teen/parent dues are $175 per year, payable in August. New members also pay a $50 registration fee to cover the costs of the TAPS orientation binder, and a TAPS volunteer shirt for teen and mother. 

Where do my TAPS dues go? 

Member dues fund TAPS programs; TAPS does not fundraise for our own organization or other non-profits. In recent years, nearly 75% of our budget has been directly allocated to TAPS community service programs and to All TAPS service events. Dues also pay the administrative costs of the TAPS website, insurance, recruitment, and taxes. 

What is the time commitment for teen TAPS members? 

TAPS teens commit to accumulate at least 20 TAPS service hours per year throughout high school. These hours are accumulated through several TAPS activities: 

  • Grade Level Meetings and Service Projects: Each Class holds monthly meetings when planning or organizing service events, including programs at Love-A-Child, Meadow Homes Elementary, Bay Area Crisis Nursery, Crossroads High School, Trinity Center, Sunrise Assisted Living, and more; classes are encouraged to identify and serve additional groups together. 

  • ALL TAPS Service Meetings: Holiday Giving Event (December), Winter Service Project (January/February), and Service Celebration (May). These gatherings give all teens across TAPS classes the opportunity to work together on service projects and celebrate their successful service projects. 

  • All TAPS Activities: TAPS offers all teens the opportunity to work at designated TAPS Events throughout the year, including serving meals at Give Thanks on Thanksgiving, making no-sew blankets at for oncology patients, packing food for Feed America and Contra Costa Food Bank, and visiting/bringing friendly animals to assisted living facilities. 

  • Random Acts of Kindness and TAPS Service Coupons: Teens are challenged to think of new ways to help their neighbors in need and others in our community. Our ultimate goal is for teens to become service-minded in high school and after graduation. 


What specific leadership involvement is expected of parents? 

For teens to maximize their TAPS experience, all parents assume volunteer roles throughout their teen’s high school years. Parents fill positions as committee members, committee chairs and TAPS Board members. Parents are encouraged to serve on the TAPS Board of Directors during at least one year of membership. 

What happens if I am unable to attend a TAPS meeting? 

While we depend on TAPS members to accomplish our organization’s goals, we understand that conflicts sometimes arise. We strive to offer flexible options to assist in fulfilling membership obligations. 

How does the membership process work? 

TAPS welcomes all girls entering 9th grade (current 8th graders), and their parents to apply for membership. We are seeking prospective members who want to make a difference in our community. A strong applicant should be committed to volunteering in TAPS activities for at least twenty hours per year throughout their high school years. 

Each applicant completes a New Teen and Parent Application. In addition, a separate Recommendation or Sponsorship form is required. The New Member Sponsorship/Recommendation Form requires a reference from an adult who knows your family (i.e. a teacher, coach, neighbor, employer, etc). If that adult is a current or former TAPS member, it is considered a TAPS sponsorship.

The two forms need to be submitted during the membership drive period for the Membership Committee’s review. The 2020 Membership Drive is from January 15th through March 15th - forms need to be submitted by the March 15th deadline.


Updated 1/3/20

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