National Volunteer Week is the largest celebration of volunteering in Australia, providing an opportunity to highlight the important role that volunteers play across the country.
With the theme Give Happy, Live Happy, introduced in 2015, this week continues in 2016 to celebrate and explore the research that shows volunteers live happier and healthier lives. National Volunteer Week (NVW) begins the Monday after Mother’s Day in May – 9th to 15th May 2016. It provides the perfect opportunity to say thank you for the enormous contribution volunteers make to our communities.
Where would we be without volunteers? I shudder to think.
Suddenly, when we retire, time is our own. For those with a pattern of volunteering life goes on pretty much the same, but for the person who has not already savoured the satisfaction of being a volunteer it is not a consideration. They would like to help others but they don’t want to be committed to a regular activity. The signs outside the local Food Services begging for volunteers go unread, the pleas over community radio go unheard, the articles in the local paper are unnoticed!
“Volunteers play a key role in our country. Every day millions of Australians give their time and skills to support local communities throughout the country. Annually they contribute over $200 billion to the economy.” said Volunteering Australia CEO, Brett Williamson OAM.
Being paid is not why most people become volunteers. It may be that they have just retired and feel they still have something to give or perhaps they have a specific interest and skills and want to share them. Frequently it is because a friend has asked them to ‘come and help’.
After a while they want to continue as a volunteer because they have become committed to the objectives of the organisation or service you are working with and feel that they are doing something that is worthwhile. They have also found that they are enjoying the friendship of the people they are working with and have learned new skills. Being a volunteer has become an important part of their life.
Sometimes people don’t think of themselves as volunteers; they are just helping out. Thank you.
Volunteers are extremely important to the organisations they work with and to the community they live in. National Volunteer Week is the perfect time to show how much they are respected and valued. They have enriched their community.
I have been a volunteer for more than 65 years, and it has greatly enriched my life. It makes me Happy to be a volunteer.
Thank you to all volunteers. We are grateful that you continue to give Service with a capital Smile.
– Nan Bosler