National Volunteer Week: time to celebrate!

In the field article written on the 14 May 2012

A volunteer in action at Melbourne Trailwalker. Photo: Michael Myers/OxfamAUS

It’s impossible to imagine Oxfam without volunteers. Our vollies are central to our work: their amazing efforts help us achieve so much more than we’d be able to with just paid staff. Their wide-ranging skills mean that we can count on them for everything from fundraising to campaigning, research to customer service, Trailwalker logistics to warehouse work. They’re an integral, inspiring part of Oxfam life.

And with this week being National Volunteer Week, what better excuse to celebrate this truly fab bunch of people? Below, some of our vollies tell us what volunteering means to them.

Hillary

I like a mix of time to myself and I also like to be busy and productive, so volunteering helps me do this. I also feel that I’ve led a very easy life, compared to others, and it’s now time for me to give some of my time to help those less fortunate. I can’t deny that I also enjoy the social side of it and being around other like-minded people. Also, at the end of my volunteering day, I feel good about helping.

Bez

I enjoy passing vollie stories from one vollie site to another and details as to how to better handle vollies. Oxfam is about the best. Meeting young people and attitudes is very important too. Too easy for person with no kids (only my parents!) to focus only on ‘old’ and local issues. Oxfam especially gets one away from the beefs about petrol prices and parking problems and (mostly) REALITY programs in discussion.
Access to good computer equipment/web is helpful to me too — my other vollie interests are very close to Oxfam’s realm so I don’t feel too bad in this. As an International Development student until recently, the Oxfam resource centre/library was a BONUS!

Melissa

Working with like minded people. Saving the world one feedback survey at a time. Doing something rewarding to me and to the greater community in my spare time, much better than being a couch potato. The feeling of being part of a great cause. The opportunity to play a small role, however seemingly meager which can have huge effects. Gaining new skills, opportunity to broaden my experience (Mel has recently succeeded in securing a paid job — congrats Mel!)

Jesse

Volunteering for me is a good way to give without giving money. Being a student I don’t have much money, but I do have spare time. I also think I’m in a pretty privileged position, being born in this country, and I feel it’s important to do what I can for those who aren’t as privileged. Volunteering gives me something worthwhile and productive to do with the time I have, and it’s always nice to help others, plus I learn new skills, meet new people, and it helps to have volunteer experience when applying for jobs too.

Interested in volunteering for Oxfam? Find out more