Toy Library great for learning
Many volunteer roles are very visible within the community, so it’s easy to overlook the countless hours put in by volunteer committees and boards. Lana John volunteers her time at the Alexandra Toy Library where she has been on the committee for four years and president for the last three.
Lana grew up in Alexandra before studying in Dunedin and living in Australia and the UK. She returned to Alexandra in 2009 with her British husband as they both love the Central Otago lifestyle and community and were keen to bring up their children here.
Lana works as a registered nurse and is mum to two young girls so has plenty to keep her busy, so why did she get involved in the Toy Library?
‘‘I joined when my first daughter was a baby. The committee were looking for more members and I wanted to help. At that stage I wasn’t working and it was great to spend time contributing and socialising with adults! I like doing my bit for the community and love working in a team of volunteers. The learning has been much more than expected; processes such as funding, being an employer, social media and interactions with council and the national body. I get a lot of inspiration and energy from the other volunteers, especially when most are also busy being parents and working. They have become friends, and it reminds me what wonderful people we have here.’’
Lana is passionate about the role and is committed to doing the best job possible.
‘‘The library is a fabulous resource for families and as children get older and members leave, our challenge is constantly keeping the word out there to attract new members. We’re keen to secure its long term viability and networking has led to amazing volunteers and support from Vincent Community Board; both meaning we have reduced membership fees and can keep the doors open more.’’
Lana sums up volunteering nicely: ’’What you get out of volunteering may totally surprise you, and if you’re hesitant about your abilities in any way, remember there is a role for any type of help.’’
If you would like to join Lana, or are considering what roles are out there for you, contact Volunteering Central.