National Volunteers Week 2018 commences 21st May until the 27th, although volunteering is not something that needs to just happen for one week a year. The theme of this year’s National Volunteers Week in Australia, is ‘Give a little, Change a lot’.
A Volunteer is “a person who does something, especially helping other people, willingly and without being forced or paid to do it.”
Since my Mother-in-Law moved to her aged care home, I have been regularly volunteering. I don’t volunteer every week but help with the outings and special events such as the annual fete, cocktail parties and Christmas Party.
I have found that it is such a rewarding experiencing for both the residents and myself. They now know me by name and always say hello when I visit.
I have accompanied them on various outings and helped in preparing for or at events including:
Decorating the Christmas Tree
Mao’s Last Dancer Exhibition at the Brisbane Museum
A City Cat ride along the Brisbane River, followed by morning tea
There are many ways that we can give of our time, and of course, you need to find something that you enjoy and is a good fit for you. You may also need to have police checks or similar if you want to work with children or in aged care. Volunteering with an organization will have conditions that you need to comply with.
Volunteering doesn’t have to be for an organization and it doesn’t have to be grand gestures or every day. You can give your time to family and friends.
- Perhaps you have an elderly neighbour that you could do some shopping for.
- Offer to mind the grandchildren
- Cook some meals for a new Mum or someone who might have lost a partner or coping with an illness
- Treat a friend to a coffee
Volunteering can sometimes make us feel like we have to be there all the time.
I felt that when I first started volunteering at Marycrest. However, the staff assured me that they were grateful for any time I could give. I opted to help with the major events rather than being tied to a definite time each week. I needed the flexibility so I’m much more comfortable now, knowing that I’m helping others but not finding it a chore or a drag.
National Volunteers Week 2018
Do you volunteer? I’d love you to share your experience with us and leave a comment below.
What is one way you can help others and give back?