THIS week communities across the state are celebrating National Volunteer Week, a great initiative to recognise the selfless unpaid work by women and men of all ages who help keep our suburbs and towns strong.
We all know the high-profile work of organisations like the Australian Red Cross, Rural Fire Service, St John’s Ambulance, Marine Rescue NSW and the SES.
But we often don’t see the equally valuable and important work by volunteers who deliver Meals on Wheels, take library books to the elderly or coach our kids in sport.
As well, there are the parents who run the walking school bus to get the neighbourhood’s children to school safely, or who are there to do the shuttle to sports practice and matches, or provide food and blankets to the homeless each night.
Volunteering is leadership and to encourage the next generation we need to lead by example – 43per cent of us will volunteer if we witness our parents doing so, but sadly only 23per cent will if they don’t.
So as we say ‘‘Thanks a Million’’ to the 2million volunteers across NSW. I challenge you to think about how just an hour of your time could help to strengthen your community and improve the lives of your neighbours.
2012 NSW Volunteer of the Year,