26 January 2009

In Praise of Volunteers!

The VolunteerImage via Wikipedia

Never doubt that a small, group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. --Margaret Mead

Volunteers are the lifeblood of every community. From Victim Support to the Volunteer Fire Brigade, the local school to the Scouts and Girl Guides, from Local Government to local sports clubs, they work hard to provide for the needs of the community for little or no financial reward and sometimes at significant cost to themselves.

Volunteers help to build strong, sustainable, connected communities. Without them our communities would be unsafe, unfair, uninteresting and without direction.

In New Zealand, volunteers contribute some 270 million hours of formal, unpaid work for non-profit organisations annually. These millions of unpaid hours benefit human rights, faith communities, health, education, sports and recreation, social services, arts and culture, emergency services, the environment and conservation, animal welfare, and community support and development.

Often their work goes unnoticed - volunteers seldom make the headlines. They do, however, make a significant difference. Imagine what our communities would go without if it weren't for all this unpaid effort? The work that volunteers do is often of such value to those who benefit from it that it is quite literally priceless.

Lets hear it for the volunteers in our communities!

Do you volunteer? Share why you do it in our Volunteer Poll here.

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