Written by Georgie Scotchford, edited for online by Toby Crockford
This week is a celebration of the hard work of the country’s volunteers across the country, whose tireless efforts support not-for-profit organisations.
The words of “give happy … live happy” are at the heart of National Volunteer Week 2016, with volunteering contributing $43 billion to the national economy.
Volunteering Australia has partnered with Beyond Bank, one of Australia’s largest customer-owned financial institutions, to thank those who sacrifice their time to help those in need.
Beyond Bank community development manager Peter Rutter said volunteering was a mutually beneficial experience.
“(Volunteers have) helped make a difference, they feel better about themselves and their own contribution as well as the benefits that have been gained by the organisations or people they’re helping,” said Mr Rutter.
While statistics show people who volunteer are generally happier, there are a shortage of volunteers.
Eight-five per cent of volunteering organisations said they needed more help, while 30 per cent said they did not have enough suitable candidates or the means of locating them.
Salvation Army Major, Neil Dickson encouraged people thinking of giving up their time to simply take the plunge.
“I just encourage anyone who is contemplating volunteering their time for a not-for-profit organisation to just jump in and do it,” said Major Dickinson.
“We just wouldn’t be able to function without our wonderful volunteers that come alongside.”
Emphasis will be placed on the State Emergency Service this year, with Queenslanders encouraged to wear orange on Wednesday to show support for the SES Volunteers.
To find out more on how you can help, go to www.volunteeringaustralia.org.