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Giving back to the community: volunteering on the Central Coast and beyond

According to recent reports, over 43% Australians over the age of 18 donated their time and effort to a volunteer initiative last year.

The average time spent was about an hour a week (median was 55 hours per person).   I mean you could do the old Warren Buffet thing and donate $1.9 billion but you don’t have to be rich to make a difference.

People volunteer for a number of reasons:-

  • Personal satisfaction
  • To discover a connection to community
  • Obtain new skills
  • To keep busy when no longer working
  • To make social connections
  • Mental health benefits, and
  • Family tradition

Let’s face it, we are all less connected than we were.  Despite all the technology, we spend less human face to face time than our grandparents did.  Do you want to make a teeny change…

Go Volunteer

You could start by clicking here  which brings up lots of suggestions from the Go Volunteer page – for instance, a kitchen hand at leisure and learning centres on the coast and gardeners for light weeding, pruning, planting and mulching.

Hammond Care

 Here is the link to Hammond Care but there are many others.  Call one of the local care facilities to see if they would like you read to someone, paint their nails, or just to sit and listen.   

Velma’s Pets As Therapy

Velma’s Pets As Therapy has been operating since 1999.They are always seeking more volunteers with suitable dogs on the Central Coast. They train people and their own healthy, friendly, calm, confident, well-mannered pets to safely and beneficially visit hospitals and nursing homes to interact with the residents and patients to offer physical, mental and social stimulation; and a cuddle with a furry friend.  To watch what they do: ‘4 Legged Angels’ video click here.   For full details please contact Velma at velma@velmaspetsastherapy.com.au or go to their web site: www.velmaspetsastherapy.com.au

Lifeline

Lifeline crisis support and suicide prevention is always looking to recruit volunteers.  Not just to help as crisis supporters, but also to help with fundraising, book fairs, and even provide assistance with office activities at the local Lifeline Centre. AND they have a charity fund raising even coming up on the 28th October, a tag team surfing comp! To find out more info you can click here.

 

Donate Blood

How about you give a pint?!   They won’t take me – mostly because I am a Mad Cow apparently.  Oh no, sorry, I misunderstood.  It’s in case my British Blood HAS mad cow disease.  Okay, well that’s different.  But you can help!  Donate Blood – Red Cross  http://www.donateblood.com.au/

Pet Rescue

The Gosford pound is seeking foster care for some pets. Although they do have an adoption service, they provide ‘foster care’ for dogs that don’t cope.

Pop into the pound, fill out an application form, and you’ll then have a ‘meet and greet’ (although I’m sure the dogs would prefer a ‘meat’ and greet!) to make sure you are the right match. You can access their information on both the websites below or by calling the pound on 02 4304 4350 https://www.petrescue.com.au/rescue-and-shelter-support     http://www.puppydogrescue.com/council-dog-pounds/gosford-city-animal-shelter

Guide Dog Foundation

Bit further afield, but you can become a puppy raiser, a fundraiser or even sponsor a puppy! See the guide dogs website here.

Cancer Council

Cancer Council is looking for volunteers for Daffodil Day in August plus opportunities in retail or offices. This is an annual funraiser and for more information, click here to be taken to their website.

Starlight Children’s Foundation Australia

What about helping seriously and terminally sick kids at  https://starlight.org.au/how-to-help/volunteering/

Online donations welcome – no locations on the Coast, but John Hunter Hospital in Newcastle has a Starlight Express Room looking for volunteers.  Or Livewire which is an online branch of Starlight Foundation?… www.Livewire.org.au  is an online community designed for young people living with a serious illness, chronic heal conditions or a disability, and their families.

Meals On Wheels

Considered Meals on Wheels? or MOW as they are known:  https://ccmow.com.au/volunteering/  Tuggerah has a centre always looking for some willing hands.

Coast Shelter

Coast Shelter–  always seeking another pair of hands to help provide meals and support on the coast.  Dishing out, driving.

The Smith Family

The Smith Family needs volunteers year-round – to sit on the end of a phone and help a child learn to read, to help tutor a child in English or Maths, in their shops, or lending a hand with admin.   https://www.thesmithfamily.com.au/get-involved/volunteer/nsw

Share The Dignity

Share the dignity is an organisation committed to providing some dignity to those women on the streets who have monthly needs.  This particular program asks that we donate a handbag we no longer need, and fill it with items that will make another woman feel special.  Nothing on the coast, but they are looking for a volunteer or two to coordinate a collection point.  Pop in a note to the recipient too. Visit their page here for more information.

Kiva

If you wanted to help further afield there are other options.

I have personally participated in www.Kiva.org  for several years.  Not a charity per se, but the opportunity to make a small loan ($25 or so).  Your donation is added to others from around the world and will help people who need a leg up.  I like this one because the money eventually gets paid back to you so you can then re-lend to another family.

 

Clean Up Australia Day

Organise an event for Clean Up Australia Day in the local area. Visit http://www.cleanupaustraliaday.org.au/get-involved/  You don’t have to be quite to formal either – why don’t you find a few friends and have your own bush or beach clean-up afternoon?

Grab a pair of rubber gloves and a plastic bag each, and spend an hour or two picking up all those grotty cigarette butts (really yuk!) and MacDonald wrappers in our bushland or at the beach.

It’s better to give than receive, they say. Give it a go and let me know how it feels…

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