What do you think of when the discussion turns to volunteering? Meals of Wheels? The committee of a local organisation? Assisting communities in Africa or Timor? Assisting injured wildlife? Planting trees?
These are all worthwhile and valid forms of volunteering but there are many others. There are almost as many forms of volunteering as there are people in the world. Sometimes we do it while it barely registers.
Yesterday I visited the small retirement village where my mother lives. I gave a slideshow presentation of some of the photos from our trip to Scotland last year. Mum had asked me if I would consider doing this as she felt that several of the residents would enjoy seeing them.
The presentation was advertised in the village newsletter, I assembled about 30 photos which I felt best reflected our travels and made some notes with specific details about the various places.
The armchair travellers assembled and we were set to traverse the ‘Islands and Highlands of Scotland’.
I was delighted with the level of engagement by the audience and thoroughly enjoyed retelling some of the anecdotes of our travels. However, I was completely unprepared for the overwhelmingly positive feedback and thanks which I received. I was thanked profusely for donating my time. I had not even thought of it like that – I was simply having fun sharing my passion for some of the places we had visited. There may well be more travel slideshows of other destinations in the future.
Today was a completely different story. A small but committed group of us gathered to print more pockets for the Boomerang bags which are made by our local group. Boomerang bags utilise salvaged and secondhand fabrics to create reusable carry bags. These are sold for a very modest $5.00 and we were pleased to be able to make a substantial donation to the local Neighbourhood Centre at the end of last year. The centre supports disadvantaged and vulnerable people in our community. The Boomerang Bag project saves fabric from landfill, limits single use plastics and supports our community and I am glad to be a part of it.
A reminder that you are never to young to be involved in volunteering and making a contribution.
I would love to hear about your volunteering contributions.