13 June 2014
Volunteering from the ground up
National Volunteer Week (15-21 June) recognises volunteers from all community backgrounds. The recent release of the Quarterly Volunteering and Donating Indicators from the Department of Internal Affairs shows that people aged 40-49 are volunteering the most, and 18 hours on average being volunteered per month.
Volunteering New Zealand (VNZ) believes that this shows strength for the ability to strike a balance between giving back versus the high demand on individuals from professional, family and social lives. These areas of life offer platforms for volunteering, which may not immediately be recognised as such.
VNZ’s Chief Executive, Vanisa Dhiru says, “Volunteering can be as easy as helping a neighbour in need, offering assistance with a school trip, supporting a neighbourhood event, sharing and engaging in an online campaign or helping to organise a fundraiser at work. The brilliance of volunteering is in the simplicity of its delivery, and the comparatively large impact that it can have on people, causes and communities.”
VNZ maintains that grassroots volunteering – in groups, collectives, within social circles - holds an incredibly strong position within our national communities. There is a view of encouraging ordinary New Zealanders to become even more involved on a local level.
Vanisa explains, “Aotearoa is made up of countless small communities, which come together to form the basis of our nation as a whole. Volunteering in your communities strengthens these connections and directly impacts on the positive environment which New Zealanders want to have for our communities.”
This year’s National Volunteer Week is inspired by the following whakataukī: “Naku te rourou nau te rourou ka ora ai te tangata” translated as, “With your contribution and my contribution the people will live.”
Volunteering New Zealand (VNZ) is an association of New Zealand organisations that have a commitment to volunteering, such as volunteer centres, national and other organisations. Their mission is to promote, support and advocate for volunteering. www.volunteeringnz.org.nz