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World Vision Celebrates Int'l Volunteer Day

Media Information Thursday 4th December

World Vision Celebrates International Volunteer Day

Auckland. On the eve of International Volunteers Day, W rld Vision would like to thank the hundreds of New Zealanders who give their time, talent and energy to bring hope to thousands of children, families and communities living in extreme poverty overseas.

World Vision's National Volunteers Manager, John Currie, says the organisation values its dedicated volunteers and appreciates the wonderful contribution they make year after year.

"Our volunteers come from all over New Zealand, from different walks of life, offering a range of skills and capacities to serve. They give valuable support to many programmes and without them, we wouldn't be nearly as effective," says John.

World Vision volunteers range from professionals who want to contribute their skills and expertise, to teenagers, wanting to do something meaningful with their spare time and retirees with a passion to change lives. There are also a large number of families who regularly volunteer at events and activities throughout the year.

John says it is a common misconception that you need a lot of free time to volunteer.

For Auckland teenagers, Ben Goodger and Daniel Cullam, the decision to volunteer for World Vision was fuelled by a desire to do something significant for a cause that would benefit others. They started the "The One Year T-shirt Challenge", wearing printed t-shirts for a year to raise money for rainwater tanks in Nshamba, Tanzania. So far, they have raised over $3000 and have recruited eight team members to join them in 2009.

Long-time volunteer, Bryan Mayall from Hamilton collects donation boxes and supports the 40 Hour Famine each year. Twenty years on, the generosity of Kiwis continues to amaze him, knowing the difference that their contribution will make in fighting extreme poverty.

Volunteering New Zealand estimates the value of unpaid work in New Zealand is $3.31 billion annually, which accounts for over 270 million hours.

Having a strong network of volunteers in New Zealand enables World Vision to send over 75% of funds raised to aid and development projects overseas.

John encourages people to look on the World Vision website www.worldvision.org.nz, if they are interested finding ways to become involved.

"Together, we are making a difference in the lives of thousands of children, families and communities in the developing world, and that is something to be proud of," says John.


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