Volunteers provide care and support to those in need. We see them filling food parcels, spending time with the elderly and helping at the local op shop.
Unsurprisingly it's retirees that lead the way in finding the time to help others.
But as those volunteers get older, they're less able to help out, leaving charities searching for a new pool of future volunteers.
"We want to make sure that we start to work with younger people and instil a sense of giving from a younger age so that we don't have this problem," Volunteering Bay of Plenty chief executive Vanessa Lister said.
"The problem we have the moment is that we keep going back and burning out that older demographic who seems to have the time and willingness to volunteer. We need to be careful around that."
When it comes to lending a hand, there are plenty of volunteering positions to be filled.
"We have volunteers who offer their skills and experience. So business volunteers, people working for corporates who are in marketing, in HR… all of those different departments one would associate with a corporate. Those are the skills that are required by a not for profit in order to run a sound business. They're still in businesses, even if it's not for profit."
Volunteering Bay of Plenty has been helping not-for-profits find volunteers since 2001.
"We have a pool of over 4000 volunteers and we match them up to organisations who join with us looking for them," Lister said.
"At the moment we have 104 organisations who are registered on our database, an online digital ecosystem for volunteering. They need the volunteers in order to do the services they offer the community."
Lister says there's more to volunteering than just a feel-good factor.
"It has proven mental health benefits and physical health benefits. People come out and volunteer, so they're getting involved, start to meet the local community, help each other, they start to feel better about themselves so your self-esteem grows. The sense of giving is priceless."
Volunteering can even help those searching for employment.
"As a migrant volunteering is really important because it allows me to get to know about New Zealand and the work environment here. Volunteering is a good way to add new skills to my CV," Lalangi Deniya said.
And sometimes volunteering is required for coursework.
"I needed a certain number of hours to complete an assignment for my course at the Bethlehem Tertiary Institute, in the counselling programme," said Kelci Merrick.
"I got in touch with Volunteering Bay of Plenty and they were able to provide that I could fulfil those hours."
And she'll continue to volunteer well after her course has finished.
"I keep a bit of space in my schedule to allow for volunteering. I think it's a good practice to have just as a lifestyle to always allow a bit of time to give back to your community."
One sector that relies on a healthy pool of volunteers is conservation.
"We work with 19 groups across the Bay of Plenty and most of them are all volunteer led," Michelle Elborn, CEO at Bay Conservation Alliance said.
"They need a whole range of skillsets from people being out on the ground, doing things like pest control, planting and monitoring of different native species, through to that back-end support like financial management, fundraising, admin, putting newsletters together. So wide skills always required."
There's no single job description to be a volunteer but there are some common traits.
"A good volunteer is someone who's passionate, committed, ideally social and wants to work as a team and is willing to take on certain tasks and deliver on them," Elborn said.
If you're interested in volunteering in the Bay of Plenty but don't know where to start, Volunteering Bay of Plenty's "Volfest" event takes place this Friday at Baycourt.
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