It's time to volunteer, but think laterally to find your way

HELPING HERO: Trent Becker receiving his 2017 Logan City Volunteer of the Year Award. Photo: Supplied

HELPING HERO: Trent Becker receiving his 2017 Logan City Volunteer of the Year Award. Photo: Supplied

EDITORIAL: Giving our time without expectation of a financial return is one of the greatest gifts Australians deliver within communities.

Now that National Volunteer Week has wrapped up for another year, we hope our readers have been inspired to find a way to contribute.

Although there are a huge variety of clubs to join, there are other ways to be of service.

Many people find ways to give time in their fields of expertise. Mentoring is an excellent way to donate hours and energy to others, particularly those needing a foothold in the same industry who may have no other pathway.

For young people emerging from higher education, volunteering is often a necessary start to their chosen profession, and sometimes the only way to gain the all-important experience sought by employers.

According to Australian Bureau of Statistics data from 2010, women are leading the way with 38 per cent in a formal volunteering role, against 34pc of men. People living outside cities volunteer a lot, with 41pc of them donating time over 34pc of city dwellers. 

At the end of the day, it’s not a competition, although the positive impact on our country is unarguable.

According to 2013 University of Adelaide data, the annual value to the Australian economy of all voluntary hours was estimated to be $25.4 billion, based on a notional hourly wage of $25-$30.

National peak body Volunteering Australia believes that giving our time can result in a “helper’s high” which they describe as: “A powerful physical and emotional feeling experienced when directly helping others”. 

Be inspired by our local volunteer Trent Becker, Logan City Volunteer of the Year.

When they say volunteering opens doors they mean it, but it’s good to remember these doors open both ways.

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