Volunteering gets a boost
Volunteers are like gumboots - without ‘em, ‘where would we be?’. And more are needed to fill numerous community-based roles, especially during the busy lead-up to Christmas.
Dare To Volunteer was a pre-Christmas incentive by Palmerston North’s Volunteer Resource Centre to encourage more people to enjoy volunteering.
Resource Centre co-ordinator Norelle Ward said the promotion was a way of opening up perceptions about volunteering.
‘‘You don’t have to turn up regularly every Monday afternoon for the next 20 years. You can contribute on an ad hoc or on a project basis.’’
Walking the neighbour’s dog, weeding someone’s garden, sorting through donated goods, reading to someone, driving patients to treatments or teaching former refugees English were among ways people could contribute.
Volunteering was not confined to grassroots activities either. Organisations were always looking for expertise at board and governance level.
‘‘If there is no one sitting on those boards, lots of groups wouldn’t be able to exist,’’ Ward said.
Bayleys’ Latham Lockwood, a member of the Rotary Club of Palmerston North, registered with the Volunteer Centre two years ago and is now a member of Parentline Manwatu¯’s governance body.
‘‘Making other people’s lives better makes your own life better. Creating opportunities for others is a good way to give back,’’ Lockwood said.
Sharing his leadership, strategic planning, oversight and governance nous not only helped others grow, it gave Lockwood opportunities to extend himself.
‘‘You don’t know what you bring to an organisation, so it is worth giving it a shot. It’s mostly behind the scenes work, but there is satisfaction in bringing new perspectives to a group, and seeing things happen,’’ Lockwood said.
All that was required to enter Dare To Volunteer draw was to undertake an hour of activity between now and International Volunteer Day, December 5, take a photo of yourself doing it, and post it and a brief description to the Volunteer Resource Centre Facebook page.
Prizes included a native tree, a gift and lunch with mayor Grant Smith with details available at vrcmanawatu.org.nz and 354 6027.
Leah Baken is a volunteer at Just Zilch in Palmerston North.