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Connecting through volunteering


Colin Anker's attitude towards volunteering is "If I don't do it, who will?"

For volunteer Colin Anker it's an honour to be able to spend time with Reg, a WWII veteran and centenarian.

"Whenever I see him his face lights up," says Colin. "And I get the privilege of being able to make that difference in his life."

Every week Colin visits Reg at the retirement home where he lives. Colin pushes Reg's wheelchair to the local supermarket and they shop for groceries while talking about life, and what it means to lead a good one.

For Colin, volunteering also makes his own life more meaningful. "It helps give my life meaning by helping others. And you know, these people are in need, so if I don't do it who will?"

Daunting but exhilarating

Visiting Reg isn't the only volunteering Colin does. He also helps our Emergency Services team.

He has helped with disaster relief operations in response to floods, fires and cyclones. Last year when Cyclone Marcia hit Queensland, Colin helped lead Red Cross' incident management team.

"It was daunting but exhilarating at the same time; being part of a close knit team of strangers coming together for a high pressure and vital task," he says.

Helping people brings joy

And earlier this year, Colin led a team of evacuation centre volunteers after fires and floods hit Tasmania. "In an evacuation centre you get to help people at a time of great vulnerability.

"We reconnect families and friends separated by the disaster, connect them with services to address their immediate needs. And above all provide the community with support so they aren't facing the situation by themselves."

Colin says volunteering is so rewarding. "I get so much joy from helping others in times of vulnerability and that makes the experience priceless."

Volunteers like Colin are the backbone of Red Cross. They help to build stronger, happier communities that are better places to live; communities that are more trusting, inclusive and socially connected.

Find out more about joining our volunteer team.