The perks of volunteering

Jess found an unexpected benefit in giving her time to help others in an emergency.

Volunteer with Red Cross and you might just fall in love.

That’s what happened to Jessica and Maurice when they met during an activation for the Queensland floods in 2022.

Jess first began volunteering with Red Cross in 2018 after becoming a mum. “I just felt that in being a mum to small kids, I’d started to lose a bit of who I was. That’s why I started volunteering with Red Cross, I wanted to get my identity back and do something I was passionate about.”

After separating from her husband, Jess threw herself into volunteering during the 2022 Queensland floods. And despite the harrowing stories she heard from people every day, she found purpose in her role: bringing her kindness and friendly attitude wherever she went.

“I just did whatever I needed to do to help people, I would hold babies while their mother’s filled out paperwork, I would sanitise seats, I would help people work out exactly who they needed to speak to.”

In these hubs Jess made lifelong friends, “the vibe was electric. It was inclusive and joyful. We were all there with the same heart, to help others.”

It was when she was volunteering at the Morooka Bowls Hub in Brisbane that Jess met Maurice, who was the hub manager. Maurice says it was seeing the way Jess connected with people, the care she took and the kindness she treated everyone with, that made him fall in love with her. After weeks of working alongside each other, Maurice finally made his feelings known at the volunteer break up party.

The rest, Jess says, is history.

“We’re forever thankful that we were brought together in such a beautiful spirit,” says Jess, “and we’ve become a bit of an urban legend in the Queensland volunteering community.”

These days, Jess and Maurice share a life full of adventure: “We’re always hiking, camping and rock climbing, we have so much fun together.”

The pair are excited about their future together. And as for how Red Cross fits in?

“We’re lifers,” Jess assures us.

See current volunteering roles available in Queensland

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