Are you a volunteer?
Many people contribute to the welfare of our communities by generously giving of their time and skills for the benefit of others. Some 20 years ago I attended a function in Melbourne Central celebrating the contributions of volunteers. At that event the contributions of volunteers were estimated to be worth many millions of dollars to our economy.
The Country Fire Authority and Meals on Wheels were the main organisations mentioned for the work they do in helping our community. If the work done by these organisations wasn’t voluntary, our community would be significantly worse off.
Not all voluntary work is about providing health and welfare services that would otherwise be the responsibility of government. Many people contribute skills in event management, driving, personal care, financial skills, editing, writing, researching, translating , mentoring, teaching, cooking, childcare, building, fundraising, gardening ….. the list is endless!
Twenty years later and the value of the work of volunteers cannot be underestimated. It forms a significant part of our economy. Volunteers may not receive financial remuneration for their work, but that doesn’t make it any the less meaningful or worthwhile.
I have volunteered in one capacity or another for as long as I can remember. I have been asked to speak on Friday at a function celebrating and recognising volunteers in my local area.
What to say?
I would be speaking to people just like myself ….. people who love to give of themselves for the benefit of others. I couldn’t imagine that there was anything I could say that would be ‘enlightening’. I’m still struggling with writing my ‘speech’ but I realised that what was important was to share the pleasure and the joy in being able to make a difference to someone’s life.
This year’s National Volunteer Week theme is “Give Happy, Live Happy”.
Luckily for the community, there are lots of happy volunteers out there who give …. and give…. and give….. and give!