WINNER BEST PARENTING BLOG 2009 & 2011

Do You Volunteer?

This post is sponsored by Nuffnang.

On Saturday I was inspired by the diverse group of volunteers I met at my local Westfield’s Give Ability Day event at Carousel. It was a fun day, with cookies being decorated, faces being painted and bright yellow Give Ability Day balloons bobbing along in the hands of smiley-faced children, all for a gold coin donation.


And there was this old friend available for purchase…


How could I resist? Fat Cat is such an iconic character in Australia. Appearing regularly on his very own show on Australia television for 20 years and saying goodnight to children in my home state of WA for many, many more, Fat Cat is also the mascot for Telethon, the beneficiary of 100% of the proceeds from Give Ability Day in WA. The Telethon Trust distributes funds to over 30 different charity groups, all of which are involved with supporting children (and their families) with disabilities. Operating since 1968, Telethon can only be described as an institution in WA.

But back to the volunteers. I was inspired by the number of (predominantly) young people giving up time on their Saturday to shake a tin as a Telethon volunteer. The Westfield staff were also actively involved – everyone from the Centre Manager (shaking a tin) to the concierge staff (selling balloons) were actively involved in what would have been a very long and very busy day. It really got me thinking about getting back into some form of volunteer community service, something I really haven’t been involved in since I stopped teaching to stay home and be a Mum. Now that Immy is a bit older, I really think that we, as a family, should seek out a volunteer opportunity to give back to our local community.

Do you volunteer, either yourself or as a family, in your local community? What sorts of activities are you involved in? I would love some suggestions to get us started.

If you are in Western Australia and are interested in volunteering with Telethon to help raise funds for children in our community, you can find more information about being involved in a broad range of events here. If you missed Give Ability Day this time, keep an eye out for other Give Ability events at your local Westfield Shopping Centre, it sounds like they have some great future activities planned.

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Comments

  1. Hi, I’m enjoying reading your blog and I have given your blog a versatile blogger award. Please go to my blog (http://nzecochick.blogspot.com/2011/05/versatile-blogger-award.html) to collect your award. Keep up the great writing. Kind regards.

  2. My hubby and I both volunteer. Hubby is a volunteer firefighter and I am a volunteer breastfeeding counsellor and very-soon-to-be-finished community educator with the Australian Breastfeeding Association.

  3. ….sorry, hit submit too soon…best of luck finding your ‘thing’ :-)

  4. Oh yes, volunteer always – at all of my children’s preschools (we move a lot, there have been 5 different ones), then primary schools on the P&C, running all sorts of fundraisers. I try to avoid volunteering at sports, i do enough at school (readers, canteen duty, craft classes) to have to measure the long jumps too, while trying to watch 4 children compete across a huge oval in different age groups. I have zero guilt for saying not that!! After 10 years i’ve decided to step back & take a break. I still help but not coordinate, it’s a huge job & draining. Plus my husband is away for like 95% of the time for the past 3 years & next 2 years (he’s a soldier) so i know my limits, especially with high school homework etc. It doesn’t count unless you’re totally into it, volunteering has to be from the heart, it’s often a thankless job!!
    Wishing you well, i just find donating to causes i believe in or have affected my family directly warms my heart & of course, anything to benefit my children & their class mates. Love Posie

  5. Well, we’re not in our local community but my husband and I are volunteers in Chiang Mai, Thailand with our three little ones (5, 4 and 2) alongside us. We work at ZOE Children’s Home which rescues orphans and children from human trafficking as well as providing aftercare homes that offer hope and a future to those rescued.
    Love reading your blog Christie :)
    Andie

  6. I’ve done a number of different kinds of volunteering with my kids. I wrote a long explanation of it here, with several ideas:

    http://twochicksandahen.blogspot.com/2010/11/some-thoughts-on-volunteering-with.html

    I’ve also volunteered without my kids in the past, pre-kids. This conversation is making me think I should do that again!

  7. sarah greenwood says:

    My partner coaches the local U15′s cricket team (many an evening has been spent entering the cricket scores together onto the webpage) and helps with both his boys rugby teams too. I work in community services running a parent support program for high needs families…. we are always underfunded and I usually end up doing many hours a week as an unpaid volunteer – I have to say finding volunteers at work can be daunting- many people are busy with work commitments or seem to be reluctant to join in however we are trying to get a volunteer “reading to kids” scheme up and going at the moment : ) Our oldest boy (14) is a cadet with the volunteer bush fire bridage in town (we are located in small town close to Perth)and joins in helping his dad coach/mentor his younger brother’s (5) rugby team. He has also just made the state team(sorry Mummy bragging rights) and finished his first rugby referee course . As our other two children get older they will also be encouraged to participate in the local commuity and help share/learn many skills and meet a diverse range of people – there is so much to gain : )

  8. Volunteering is a huge part of who we are as a family. We’ve done drives, crafting fundraisers, plantings, assembling meals/packages/stockings, caroling for elderly residents of a home, etc.

    Here’s a post I wrote with some expert tips, too:
    http://www.naturallyeducational.com/2010/11/children-giving-charity-volunteering/

  9. Sydney Girl says:

    I’m a facepainter and always volunteer my time to worthwhile charities.

    I’m available to anyone in Sydney.

  10. Epiphius says:

    I’m also a breastfeeding support volunteer. My kids and I assemble what we call “compassion kits” each autumn to pass out to people through the winter. We pack things like: hats, gloves, scarves, canned tuna, crackers, toothpaste, soap, etc. We used to volunteer at church and probably will again once the kiddos are older.

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