Monique Lints is no stranger to community projects.

The mum-of-three has been a driving force behind many volunteer-based projects and organisations such as Te Puke Centre, Te Puke Community Response Team and Te Puke Toy Library.

National Volunteer Week starts tomorrow and Lints and thousands like her will be celebrated for the countless hours of work they offer to make their communities a better place to live.

In addition to the organisations already listed, Lints helps run the Te Puke Community Gardens, organises the Te Puke Community Markets, helps children with Brick Kids Lego and is an active environmental advocate.


"I think I'm more of an extreme volunteer."

Lints joked that she "must be a bit crazy" to take on so many projects but when pressed, admitted that her drive might have something to do with her childhood.

"I suppose mum and dad have always been social bunnies.

"We had a whole village raise us when we were based in Waipoua Forest. So that was four years of my life and it was very community and hapū based up there. Everyone knew everyone and helped look after kids. I think that's really important in this day and age."

Lints hoped her volunteering efforts would help to shape the future paths of her three young boys Aiden, Dan and Levi.

In 2012, the Lints family were involved in a serious crash and Aiden suffered a spinal injury which has since affected his walking ability.

"To see the experiences my children are gaining from being part of it as well, keeps me going," she said.

"I'm hoping they become the next generation of go-getters and goal-setters and those people who achieve their dreams, by not giving up on what they believe is right."


And this already appears to have rubbed off. In 2017, Aiden created the Lego club Brick Kids that meets each week to create and share ideas on Lego.

Lints' next projects included Te Puke Christmas in the Park and the second Te Puke International Festival.

"I feel I've been a bit of a go-to to help things moving along. I get phone calls almost daily from people saying "can you help with this? What would you do with this?' But I love it. I always see the outcome for the community."

Nationally, 1.2 million people volunteer every year.

Volunteering New Zealand said in a statement the awareness week celebrated the diversity of volunteers and volunteering.

"We celebrate everyone who volunteers in times of crisis, in times of healing and everyone who makes time and space to walk alongside others.

"Now more than ever, as a volunteering community we commit to manaakitanga and whakawhanaungatanga. We commit to caring, and to building meaningful, enduring and inclusive relationships across our differences, and to make space for diverse voices."