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Reflecting on a Year of Volunteering

Reflecting on a Year of Volunteering

The end of the year is often a time for reflection on our progress and achievements. It is fitting, then, that International Volunteer Day (IV Day) is held each year on 5 December. IV Day is the ideal opportunity to recognise and reward the 1.2 million volunteers in New Zealand for their immeasurable contribution at home and abroad.

The theme for IV Day 2017 is ‘Volunteers Act First. Here. Everywhere.’ and pays particular tribute to the support volunteers provide in times of instability, disasters, and humanitarian crises. This resonates within New Zealand, where we have seen a massive outpouring of support from many organisations, community groups, and spontaneous volunteers during our recent natural disasters.

Pat Waite, Chief Executive of Land Search and Rescue (LandSAR), identifies with International Volunteer Day as an important date for everyone to pause, reflect and acknowledge the work that volunteers do in their communities.

LandSAR is one of the key volunteer driven organisations that provides immediate assistance to the Police and public of New Zealand. “We participated in over 450 searches. Most of these searches resulted in people being brought back safely,” Mr Waite said.

“I’d hate to think if we didn’t have the volunteers, what would the number of lost people be? Volunteers are the most critical element of our organisation.”

Volunteering New Zealand (VNZ) Chief Executive, Scott Miller, echoed these sentiments, “The impact of volunteering in our communities is phenomenal and it’s something we’re exceedingly proud of. We will always seek to support organisations and individuals who make our country a great place to live.”

Let’s use this day to celebrate and recognise New Zealand’s volunteers for the invaluable work they do in our communities, locally and globally.

Volunteering New Zealand (VNZ) is an association of national volunteer-involving organisations that have a commitment to volunteering. Their mission is to maximise the impact of volunteering in our communities.


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