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National Volunteer Week 2020

A celebration of those who make a world of difference

From May 18th – 24th we celebrate National Volunteer Week. It’s an opportunity for us to say thank you to the thousands of people who volunteer for Red Cross, putting their time, energy and heart into the vital work they do. Red Cross is powered by volunteers, and it’s only with their support that we’re able to be there for those in our community who need help when times are tough.

This year has been particularly challenging. The Black Summer bushfires devastated communities all across the country. Red Cross volunteers were there every step of the way, helping to reconnect people with their loved ones, providing comfort and essential supplies in evacuation centres, and staying in communities long-term to aid the recovery effort. Many of those volunteers are now working on our COVID-19 response, making wellbeing phone calls to people who are socially isolated, delivering care packages and providing essential services to vulnerable communities.

This year more than ever we say thank you – and we encourage everyone to reach out and say thank you as well.

 

Meet some of our amazing volunteers

Joan

Joan usually volunteers as a patient transport driver but when she saw the need for food delivery drivers during the COVID-19 pandemic to help deliver care packages to people in quarantine, decided to put her hand up to help. She has been volunteering for 15 years with Red Cross. “You feel as if you’re doing something worthwhile and you get as much out of it as the people you’re helping.”

Nick

Nick has been a volunteer with Red Cross for 16 years. He has volunteered through many emergencies, including the Black Summer bushfires. He’s been helping to deliver care packages to Victorians in mandatory self-isolation as part of Red Cross’ COVID-19 response. “What I love most about volunteering for Red Cross is being able to help people. Putting on the uniform and getting out there and helping someone in need.”

Fatima

Red Cross volunteer Fatima has been volunteering with Red Cross for just under a year. She volunteered throughout the Black Summer bushfires and again during the COVID-19 pandemic, helping to deliver care packages to Victorians in isolation. “I love volunteering for Red Cross because I love getting out there and helping people. Getting things done and making sure people are safe.”

Bill

South Australian Emergency Services volunteer Bill has been conducting telephone outreach to people who are self-isolating due to the COVID-19 pandemic, checking in on their wellbeing and making sure they have the support they need. “I’m ringing people who are isolated, doing a health and safety check and psychological first-aid call with them. They’re very grateful for the service…we give them that assurance that they’re not necessarily alone, even though they’re isolated.”

Francis

Red Cross Emergency Services volunteer Francis helped in Bairnsdale, Victoria during the Black Summer bushfires. “I’ve seen a lot of disasters throughout the years and I thought it was time I put my hand up to volunteer and help out. We’ve been providing people with psychological first-aid, we have been signing them up for the Register. Find. Reunite service. Red Cross have done so much for people who have been affected by disasters, they do such good work. I love getting out there and meeting people and helping them. It feels really good and it’s very nice to be able to help. It’s such a fantastic experience.”

Ruth

Ruth is the Give Time Manager at Origin, and one of our corporate volunteers who has been making phone calls to check in on Aussies who are feeling isolated or lonely through COVID-19. It’s a program that Ruth says has touched the hearts and minds of people across her organisation. On a personal level, speaking with Red Cross clients, many of whom are elderly, has made Ruth realise how much she misses her dad, who passed away last year. Ruth is one of many corporate volunteers who are taking the time to check in on those who have no other support right now, with a friendly chat and a reminder that someone cares.

Become a volunteer

You can make a world of difference