Editorial: Thanks to our vital volunteers

By Andrew Austin

There are some lucky people in the world who love their job so much that they say they would do it without pay.

They are probably a minority and whether or not they would actually work gratis is debatable.

Then you have others who believe in something so much or who simply want to give back to the community that they do actually work for nothing. It is called volunteering.

This week is Volunteer Awareness Week and it is all about recognising thousands of people who volunteer for many worthy causes across the country. Some of them are retired and have time on their hands, while others simply just squeeze it in among everything else in their busy lives. Whoever they are, they deserve to be recognised.

Last Saturday's Hawke's Bay Today Weekend had a full page of advertising from organisations who use volunteers. The organisations include Lifeline Hawke's Bay Inc, SPCA Hawke's Bay and Presbyterian Support East Coast.

The message coming from those advertisements is that all the organisations know that they would not be able to provide the services they do without their loyal volunteers.

Many of the organisations who use volunteers offer services for those desperately in need which makes the contribution of these selfless givers even more commendable.

What I have noticed over the years is that New Zealanders generally do want to put something back into their country and community.

It was interesting to watch this at work during the Rugby World Cup - one of the most commercial events you can find which generates millions of dollars for the International Rugby Board. People were just so taken with the occasion that they wanted to be involved. I was in Auckland at the time and was impressed with the attitude of the volunteers. They were always willing to help and always very cheerful.

I suppose the reward for being a volunteer is that feeling of having given something back. It feels good to do good.

So, spare a thought for all the devoted volunteers out there during Volunteer Awareness Week. Thankfully this week will also see some of them win in the Volunteer Excellency Awards on Friday. Winners will be announced in the following categories; Individual, Team, Youth, Governance and Long Service.

Good luck to them all and thank you for your service.

You make our communities better by your selfless devotion to worthy causes.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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