This week we celebrate our volunteers, without them we wouldn’t get things done.
Our Outback Links volunteers range in age and skills, from our newest recruits – the young apprentices who participated in the Farm Experience to Lightning Ridge in April, to active retirees in their early 70s.
From skilled tradespeople to retired professionals, handymen and handywomen, the ‘can do’ attitude of Outback Links volunteers is inspirational. Mending fences, painting farmhouses, help with mustering or during harvest, repairing vehicles and machinery, pruning trees, baking cakes, supervising the schoolwork of the children of the farm, doing odd jobs around the property, every bit helps and is gratefully received.
The farmers Outback Links volunteers assist are greeted with more than just a helping hand; they are presented with a friendly face, a listening ear, fresh energy and the spirit of goodwill. From these simple acts, trust is built, friendships blossom and hope is maintained.
“They opened their home to us, complete strangers, but by the time we left we were firm friends.” said Outback Links volunteer, Geoff Bond of one of his placements. This experience is echoed by many of our volunteers.
Farmers are typically modest “It is very humbling for these people to come out and help us” said a farmer of recent volunteers. “With the drought you put your boots on and pull your socks up and go with it. I am just so appreciative, they have worked so hard.”
Our state supporters help by spreading the word about Frontier Services through their congregations, holding fundraising events and ‘Frontier Services days’. They volunteer their time each year to hold a Great Outback BBQ or two and help when events are held in their town.
Our NSW supporters group also help by regularly coming into the National Office and assisting with large mail-outs, organising and packing, while chatting over a cup of tea, saving us time and money.
Other National Office volunteers have helped us with admin work, data entry and host packs for the Great Outback BBQ.
It’s not just the recipients of volunteering who benefit. According to Volunteering Australia:
- Volunteers are happier, healthier and sleep better than those who don’t volunteer
- Just a few hours of volunteer work makes a difference in happiness and mood
- Sustained volunteering is associated with better mental health
Volunteering Australia’s slogan is “Give Happy, Live Happy”. We couldn’t agree more.