Our volunteers - Give Happy Live Happy
Give Happy Live Happy. This was the theme for National Volunteers Week 8-14 May, a time to formally acknowledge and thank all of our volunteers.
Volunteers at McAuley Community Services for Women offer their time and expertise in a number of different roles, all contributing to the vision and mission of our organisation. Volunteers are incredibly valuable for three important reasons. They add value to women and children’s lives by normalising relationships and being on equal terms with them. As such, they contribute to women and children’s sense of self-esteem and identity as a worthwhile person.
Volunteers also learn and understand the issues that women and children face, and so become extraordinarily good advocates. Volunteers enjoy a special status in advocacy because they are speaking from direct experience and without a vested interest. Finally,the added value created by the volunteers' contribution to the workings of the organisation, either through their special interest areas and expertise, or through their willingness to learn something new and take on activities or projects that we couldn’t ordinarily afford to do.
We have estimated that our ‘on the ground’ volunteers have created over $46,000 in savings this year alone.
We are happy to note that the research on volunteering tells us that it is not all one sided and McAuley is also contributing to volunteers’ wellbeing! Studies have shown that volunteers are happier, have a greater sense of well being, sleep better and have improved mental health compared to people who do not volunteer.Volunteering results in a ‘helpers high,’ a physical and emotional feeling experienced when directly helping others.
Volunteers currently help McAuley Community Services for Women through:
- Organisation Governance through Board Appointments
- Event Committees
- Supporting residential staff
- Teaching new skills including yoga and art
- Administration support
- Special projects
- Supporting the Court Support 4 Kids Program
- Contributing to the Food Programs at McAuley Care and McAuley House.
The volunteers who work beside us see lives being changed and know that they are part of that change.
Perhaps this explains why our volunteers are so dedicated and offer their ongoing support to McAuley.
For this we publicly thank them and acknowledge their contributions, which are far greater than the actual hours that they give.
We hosted an afternoon tea for our volunteers during National Volunteers Week, which gave staff and residents an opportunity to thank the volunteers for all of their work.
Caption: RDNS nurse Alison Duke with long-time volunteer Sr Maureen Sullivan.