Our family comes from a long line of community volunteers. My grandmother was community minded, engaged in community groups and in her later years would knit Trauma Teddies for the emergency services. My mum produced live shows in a small country town to raise much needs funds for the local hospitals. She spent hours rehearsing, listening to music, correographing dances and creating costumes. She taught young boys and girls to dance for the Deb Ball. She was in the school canteen once a term and later became the president of the Kiama Arts Society. As role models they instilled a deep sense of purpose of using your skills and talents where you could, and in return give back to the community in which you live.
What can you spare or share in 6 months : Volunteer Week 18-24 May 2020
Communities are stacked to the brim with talented people who have acquired skills and knowledge that Not For Profits and Charity Organisations rely on to keep costs down. It’s an economy that fills you with good will, gratitude and a greater understanding of why we are all here. I don’t think anyone really likes or asks to be in the position where they rely on others, independence is a freedom taken from some without notice. Whether through tragedy, illness or the wrong decision all of us are only one moment away from needing the financial and emotional support, just to get through the next day.
As an individual you have the choice to donate what you can. Some have time, some have money, some have skills, contacts or knowledge. They are all just as valuable as each other and no one knows this better than organisations that want to see the greater portion of every dollar raised go to the people that need it.
Funding research, resources, goods and services takes money and we will learn over the years to come, that the generosity of our governments will not provide as much as is required to get the results our community needs that find cures for disease, support minority and disadvantaged groups or provide vital services currently supplied by NFP and Charities.
The Sutherland Shire is an amazing place to live yet we still have the third highest number of referrals in Sydney, for assistance to families from social workers helping them in times of financial hardship. Domestic violence and unemployment rank as the top reasons for requiring this kind of assistance. The Dandelion Network engages over 60 volunteers to sort, service and pack the essential items that supply over 400 families a month. Jacaranda Cottage provides safe accomodation for homeless girls aged between 16-24 and provide education opportunities and life skills as well as counselling and support. Their vision is to Impart Hope, Facilitate Restoration, and Celebrate Transformation. The Beauty Bank works tirelessly sourcing life’s little luxuries for women leaving violent relationships and domestic abuse. Luxuries that we often take for granted like shampoo, hand cream, a toothbrush or deoderant are packaged into a donated handbag and distributed on mass.
But recently I volunteered for the Female Centric business network, Shire Women, at the Michael Tynan Memorial Challenge. I interviewed patrons, artists, organisers, competition winners and the chairperson, Madeline Tynan. I sold raffle tickets and sat on the table of Shire Women members who run businesses and live in the Shire. It wasn’t all stories and champagne, we heard from the Doctors of the Sutherland Shire Medical Research Foundation for whom we were raising money. Grants were being determined for research into Microbiome, Cancer, Intensive Care, Blot Clots, Mental Health, Heart, Lung and Kidney disease.
‘As two of the leading teaching hospitals in New South Wales, St George and Sutherland Hospitals have developed a rich tradition of delivering successful research that has positively impacted the lives of many thousands of people.’ – SSMRF website.
Click here to listen to the interviews on the day.
The Michael Tynan Memorial Challenge Walk is being held on 2nd November 2019.
Click here for more details on how you can help raise money for SSMRF and raise awareness of the great work being done in our NFP sector.
I know that my contribution becomes part of a bigger pool of contributions that becomes the Ocean of Hope. So whether you can spare time, money or skills being apart of something bigger is rewarding for the heart and soul.