Celebrating our volunteers
8 May 2017
It takes an army of volunteers to provide support for people doing it tough across Australia. Whether it’s volunteering in one of our op shops or preparing meals for a community lunch, Salvation Army volunteers answer the call to give hope where it’s needed most every day.
This week (8-15 May) is National Volunteer Week, so we at The Salvation Army are honouring all of our wonderful volunteers. We asked our National Volunteer Managers Penny Aquino and Lucinda Gayl to share why Salvos volunteers play an invaluable role in our community.
Q: Why volunteer with The Salvation Army?
A: The Salvation Army wears its heart on its sleeve – we care about people! This care and concern means we are located not only in big cities but throughout regional Australia. Whether you are working in a back-of-house capacity or serving on the front line to help those doing it tough, you know when you volunteer with the Salvos your efforts make a genuine difference!
Q: What kind of volunteer opportunities are available?
A: Opportunities to volunteer are incredibly varied, reflecting the wide range of ways in which the Salvos are engaged throughout the Australian community. Our volunteers’ involvement includes: assisting those in need of food, clothing and other practical needs; helping out during emergencies; providing care and social support; contributing in skilled, specialist and advisory capacities and much more. Volunteers are also the predominant workforce for the Red Shield Appeal campaign (our largest fundraising activity) which enables the Salvos to continue providing hope where it is needed most.
Q: How do Salvos volunteers add value to the community?
A: The Salvation Army provides meaningful and relevant services in response to identified community needs – and many of our services would not function without volunteers. In this way, our volunteers contribute genuine value to the community. Further, a key measure of community health is demonstrated by the proportion of people involved in supporting those in need. The Salvos contribute to this measure in a significant way via our army of 30,000 volunteers (a number which swells to 100,000 with the inclusion of our Red Shield volunteers).
Q: What's your message for volunteers on National Volunteer Week?
A: The Salvation Army’s national leader, Commissioner Floyd Tidd, says it best: “It is with a heart full of gratitude that I thank you for volunteering with The Salvation Army. Your generous contribution of time, skill and commitment makes a real difference to those you work alongside, and to those who benefit from all you do. The Salvation Army and the wider Australian community is a better place due to your collective volunteering impact.”
Q: How can businesses become involved in corporate volunteering?
A: The most effective way that businesses can contribute to the work of the Salvos is through ongoing partnership. The Salvos offer a range of partnership activities, which include workplace giving, adventure fundraising, food and toy drives, educational sessions, and the opportunity to provide skilled/pro-bono consultative input and corporate volunteering activities.
In terms of corporate volunteering – there are peak times during the year when businesses can readily get involved. These correlate with our Red Shield Appeal in May and our Christmas Campaign. In our larger metropolitan areas, we also have opportunities for corporate groups to help out with volunteering at other times. This may involve meal preparation, events, sorting donations, working bees and the like. Frequently, such activities are undertaken on a project-basis with businesses contributing both volunteers and funds to enable to activity to happen.
Want to learn more about volunteering at the Salvos? Click the link below that’s appropriate for you.
NSW, QLD & ACT: https://salvos.org.au/get-involved/volunteer-opportunities/
VIC, SA, TAS, NT & WA: http://www.salvationarmy.org.au/en/Help-Others/Volunteer/