Volunteers well worth the count
|Op Shop volunteers (Front, from left to right) Dawn Spencer, Ruth Illman, Betty Reidel, Thelma Eckert; Back: Margaret Scherer, LCC Shop Manager Natalie Bubner.|
Lutheran Community Care (LCC) staff celebrated the volunteers who work alongside them at two luncheons in metropolitan Adelaide and the Barossa Valley as part of National Volunteer Week. The theme for the week was 'Volunteers - Every One Counts'.
The national theme suited well: with 10 sites, LCC has just under 500 volunteers who take many hours out of their week to ensure the services offered are to the highest standards. In the last financial year volunteers were estimated to have given 19,946 hours of their time. Volunteering SA/NT calculates that each hour of volunteer time is worth $23.42 - after a bit more counting this means that LCC volunteers contributed at least $467,135.32 worth of time over the year. No need to be confused - all of this counting just proves that each volunteer and the work they do is invaluable for LCC.
Volunteers at the Adelaide lunch were thanked with a two-course lunch consisting of a choice of roast chicken or beef with a lemon tart for dessert. Gift cards, wine and chocolates were awarded to lucky ticket holders and each volunteer received a National Volunteer Week lapel pin and other various goodies. Director Helen Lockwood expressed her gratitude to volunteers and thanked them for their commitment and hard work. The hard work of volunteers is a theme that was echoed by keynote speaker, Derrick McManus. Derrick quoted Henry David Thoreau, saying
'There is no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life through conscious endeavour.'
In 1994 Derrick, a member of the SA Police Special Task and Rescue (STAR) Group, was shot 14 times in less than 5 seconds with a high-powered rifle while attempting to make an arrest. Because of the dangerous situation, Derrick had to wait three hours for help to arrive; each minute became more difficult as blood drained from his body.
'There is one thing [that is important to me] more than anything in the world,' Derrick said. 'My children. I had to focus on my children.'
Derrick was taken via helicopter to the Royal Adelaide Hospital where doctors didn't believe he would make it. He was given 24 units of blood - the average adult body holds between 10-12 units - and stayed in hospital for a month, but nine months later he was able to return to work. He offered inspiration to volunteers in overcoming the challenges of their role and thanked them for the work they do for the community.
'It's not what happens to us that determines the future, it's the process for how we deal with our challenges that determines the future,' he said.
18 years ago volunteers made a significant impact in his life; after his stint in hospital he came home to a beautifully landscaped garden, the product of hard work put in by his loyal work mates.
Volunteers are important for everyone as there is always 'a ripple effect of those donating their time', he said.
Feedback from volunteers was positive with volunteers thanking Lutheran Community Care for a wonderful day of delicious food and Christian fellowship.
'It's a blessing to be appreciated for work that we love and enjoy,' said a volunteer from the LCC Op Shops.
Lutheran Community Care offers a range of volunteer opportunities across its programs. If you have a skill that you think may benefit struggling youth perhaps our Youth Mentoring Program in the Barossa Valley is the perfect fit for you. Opportunities are also available in our Financial Counselling, Emergency Relief, Mobile Crèche and Family Zone programs, or you may be interested in becoming a Foster Carer. Other areas include helping clients complete basic tax returns in the Barossa Valley, and visiting families at home to provide extra support.
At Lutheran Community Care volunteers are matched to the programs that best suit their skills and aims, along with the flexibility to choose their own time commitment. Training and ongoing support is provided and reimbursement is offered for travel and other expenses that may arise
Volunteers are especially needed in our New Neighbours Settlement Support program in scrapbooking groups and teaching basic computer skills There are also gaps in our Blair Athol and Smithfield Op Shops. If you feel you can contribute to any of these programs please contact our Volunteer Administrator, Rachel Friebel, at 08 8269 9333 to sign up.