'We make a living by what we get, but we make a life with what we give'.
As we celebrated National Volunteers' Week last week, the famous saying by Winston Churchill couldn't have been more appropriate.
On Friday 21st May, colleagues, students and volunteers met at our Cannington Cecil Ave site for a morning tea and presentation for National Volunteers' Week – a giving of thanks to over six million volunteers around Australia who give their time, knowledge and generosity.
Volunteers and student placement advisor Lesley Lord facilitated the morning and highlighted the themes for 2021 – recognise, reconnect and reimagine.
Our volunteers come from all backgrounds, some challenging, but all share the same desire to give back to their communities.
Not only has our volunteering space been a breeding ground for skill sharing and relationship building, it has also provided employment outcomes for people such as Geetha Muthu.
After spending time in our Emergency Assistance (EA) program, Geetha developed an admiration for our corporate culture and applied to become a receptionist at Communicare Breathing Space – a role she later secured.
"I have thoroughly enjoyed my time volunteering in both the EA at Cannington and Breathing Space Calista. People have been extremely friendly and helpful throughout my journey," Geetha said.
In the last financial year, the efforts of our volunteers amounted to 3,000 hours of their time and more than a quarter of a million dollars in monetary value – but for our clients, it has meant so much more.
Our volunteers have supported the service delivery and capacity of multiple programs, including our English classes, Everyday Elves workshop and HIPPY; helping people to overcome barriers and reach their goals.
It has also created opportunities for single mothers, young people looking to gain experience and mature age citizens wanting to pursue new pastimes.
Reflecting on the last 12 months, we are reminded of the unique events our society has endured such as the bushfires, floods and ongoing COVID pandemic. Our volunteers have helped enrich the lives of people in the direst times.
At Communicare, we recognise the contributions of volunteers on all levels, and how we can work with them to continue leaving positive impacts in the communities we serve.
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