2 December 2004
Volunteers Celebrated In Aotearoa New Zealand Sunday December 5 2004
To mark International Volunteer Day on Sunday, Volunteering New Zealand is celebrating the enormous contribution volunteers make to New Zealand society.
International Volunteer Day is a United Nations initiative which started in 1985 and is celebrated throughout the world on December 5 every year.
“Volunteering touches everyone - from the cradle to the grave”, said Jenny Cochrane, Executive Director of Volunteering New Zealand. “From kindy associations, Plunket and toy libraries, parent teacher associations, sports, social services, and right through to volunteers within Hospice, volunteers are there behind the scenes doing many hours of work in all aspects of people’s lives.”
“We know that volunteers make essential contributors to their chosen cause. Earlier this year new research into volunteering 1 showed that for every one dollar invested into a social service organisation, between three and five dollars of service is returned to communities. In large parts this is due to the voluntary effort of thousands of volunteers.”
In New Zealand, a number of events to celebrate volunteers are being held. These include youth volunteer awards in Christchurch presented by Olympian Valerie Adams, volunteer picnics and BBQs, features in local newspapers and on radio, a mayoral reception for volunteers, the launch of a volunteer bouquet project and the official naming of Volunteer Corner in Wellington.
Churches are being encouraged to recognise their volunteers on Sunday, and on Saturday Volunteering New Zealand representatives will be at the Suzanne Aubert Compassion Centre in Wellington. They will be serving the soup kitchen dinner that evening as a way of saying thanks to the many volunteers that contribute there.
“We encourage all New Zealanders to take a moment to say thanks to volunteers,” said Ms Cochrane.