Today I wanted to write about volunteering. I would usually be at my son’s rugby training right now, but the season has finished so I’m here writing this post instead. This year I volunteered to be the team manager, which really meant emailing parents once a week to make sure they knew where the game was. The job was a bit more involved at the start and end of the season, and at home games I volunteered to work in the canteen selling food. The team’s coach was a volunteer, the person who makes up the roster was a volunteer, the sport really doesn’t function without volunteers.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) states that 31% of the population volunteered their time at the last count, which was made in 2014. That’s 5.8 million people working for free. There are so many places and opportunities for volunteering. Surf Life Saving and the Rural Fire Brigade are run by volunteers and offer valuable courses. The State Emergency Service are seen after massive storms putting tarpaulins on roofs of houses. There are volunteer organisations that help people in need, who are fleeing domestic violence or helping the homeless. People also volunteer, like I have done, at sporting events and fun runs.
By giving up your time, you meet other like minded people and form great friendships. Often you learn new skills and helping others is good for one’s soul. It can also create a great community spirit and it is touching how thankful some people can be.