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Friday, 14 July 2017

Volunteer - It's Rewarding!

It took me a few years into my (early) retirement to be ready to get out and turn up for the causes that I'm passionate about, and it came about by accident really. 
One day I was writing letters with suggestions for environmental change - and the next I found myself working alongside a dedicated little group to promote a plastic-free market, then added in helping to run a community sewing group, as one thing lead to another.



I have got so much more out of these groups than I have put in. I've met some fabulous like-minded people, and had loads of positive feedback, plus I'm working to change things that are important to me.
A few weeks back our local volunteer organization held a promotion in the city to showcase all of the local groups who are looking for volunteers. The marquee walls were lined with opportunities to give a little time in a plethora of different ways - anything from gardening to preparing food to sewing banners or volunteer firefighting.

That's not me in the pic - thanks Trish from Volunteering Northland for the pic


I thought how wonderful these opportunities would be for the bored or the lonely or the unemployed or the depressed.


 Today I have just offered to join a nation-wide group who harvest fruit that is going to waste and redirect it to people in need. The group also preserve or freeze fruit, or turn it into jams and chutneys to give away. I'm looking forward to meeting a whole new bunch of people and  new experiences, and even less housework getting done.

6 comments:

  1. I know what you mean Anne, I love volunteering at Boomerang Bags, it's a joy to go, we sew and socialise, and everyone is so friendly and down to Earth...my people :)

    I've often wondered myself why more people don't get out and volunteer, I know some will have limiting circumstances like transport/health, but there are so many who have no limitations and could help out. I have volunteered at the school canteen for years and we are always struggling to get mums and dads to help, yet many don't work at paid employment, and could offer their time to help, but don't, it's disheartening at times. I gave up canteen a few months ago, as I am working so much more these days, and I am volunteering for Boomerang Bags, it was getting hard to fit it all in!

    What a fabulous idea to have a group that turns unwanted fruit into jams etc, that is my kind of volunteer job, I'd be in that if we had a group like that here! (and yes my house is looking shabbier and shabbier too as I get out there more!)...oh well ;)

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    1. I think I'm about to add Boomerang Bags to my schedule too Cheryl, as it's about to get going here. It will be nice to have company to make all those bags.

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  2. Those are wonderful ways to help out, and would be right up my alley. I'm still searching here. Most groups that I've found are affiliated with churches (and I'm not) and that is true all over the U.S. We started with an environmental group that does anti plastics promotions, beach cleanups etc. but now they have decided to move further up the beach to attract more members, farther than we want to drive to participate. So I end up just doing little things here and there that I see a need for.
    I don't know why more people don't volunteer either as I also find it so satisfying to help out and be in the company of like-minded people. Actually, I think they are too busy shopping and buying things, thinking that will give them satisfaction and happiness.
    Anyway, bless you for all that you do!

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    1. Thanks Cynthia. I guess our system of paying neutral volunteer coordinators is a good one. If religion puts a lot of people off volunteering, I think it would here too. There is so much opportunity in volunteering. A lot of our businesses pay their employees to volunteer for a day or longer as part of their way of giving to the community.

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  3. I know what you mean Anne, I love volunteering at Boomerang Bags,


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    1. Yay good on you. It's the way of the future.

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