Saturday 16 November 2013
'From little things, big things grow," says Elaine Ladyga, 76, about the lively Red Cross choir group in New South Wales.
Back in 1997, Elaine, a dedicated volunteer in Vincentia, New South Wales, got a few fellow Red Cross volunteers together to sing acapella at a local holiday event.
The performance was a success. Sixteen years later, the Vincentia Red Cross branch choir receives invitations to perform an average of 35 times a year at day care centres, retirement homes, dinner functions and shopping malls. 'Sometimes we even busk,' says Elaine.
The choir sing songs that their older audiences can relate to, including old favourites like "The rose" and "I still call Australia home."
There is no charge for performances, but the choir keeps a collection. "What we earn, we put back to support Red Cross work," says Elaine.
In addition to singing, the volunteers of the Vincentia branch dedicate their time to everyday Red Cross work.
They make calls to make sure elderly people living at home are ok, prepare their community for disasters and provide personal support after emergencies.
"I think every volunteer who's joined Red Cross has joined to give something back to people," says Elaine. "We just feel so strongly we are needed in the world."
The Vincentia Red Cross branch choir drove three hours each ways to entertain an audience of international visitors, Australian Red Cross staff and volunteers at the international meetings of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement in Sydney.
Thank you Vincentia Red Cross for joining us in Sydney!