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30,000 thank yous this International Volunteer Day

International Volunteer Day 2014: thank you to our fantastic volunteers around the country, and overseas

Friday December 5, 2014

"Volunteering at the shop has introduced me to a lot of ideas and people that I wouldn't have met otherwise," Philip says. Photo: Morné de Klerk/Australian Red Cross

On International Volunteer Day, Red Cross thanks more than 30,000 volunteers, around the country and overseas, for their dedication and commitment to helping people in need.

Roz Wollmering, National Manager for Voluntary Service says International Volunteer Day is a great opportunity to acknowledge how vital volunteers are to the work of Red Cross. "Volunteers are the heart of Red Cross' humanitarian response, helping people to build stronger, more connected communities. Volunteers come from all walks of life and their lived experience, skills and knowledge are so valuable. We just couldn't reach the people we do without our talented volunteers.

"Our volunteers work with people in the community who are most in need. That could be regularly visiting an elderly Australian, providing first aid for young people living on the streets, or teaching families how to prepare healthy meals on a budget.

"Phillip, for example, is one of our young volunteers who helps in his local Red Cross shop. It's a real hub for the local community, putting people in touch with services. And it has also been are really great experience for the guys."

Phillip, 19, began volunteering at the shop 18 months ago. "Volunteering has introduced me to a lot of ideas and people that I wouldn't have met otherwise. That's been really crucial to who I am now. It sounds a bit melodramatic, but the people at Red Cross have really changed me quite a bit, they've given me guidance and have shown me what's out there. It's great!" he says.

Ms Wollmering says the obvious benefit of volunteering is the direct impact the volunteer has on the person or organisation they are working with, and then there are additional benefits for the volunteers and communities. "Volunteering builds confidence, improves health and well-being, creates leaders and innovators, and can lead to employment.

"Volunteers build connections, networks, and trusting relationships. Just as our society is stronger because of volunteers, so too is our organisation and many others across the globe. We are grateful for the thousands of people across the country who volunteer to help Red Cross and the broader community. They absolutely make the world a better place." says Ms Wollmering.

Find out more about theĀ Plus Effect or search current volunteering opportunitites.