Celebrating Southland volunteers
Every day, throughout the Southland Electorate, committed people give their time to help others generously.
It's appropriate, therefore, that there is a week dedicated to celebrating volunteers in our communities.
As the Member of Parliament for Southland, it is a privilege to use this year's National Volunteer Week to thank our volunteers for all the hard work you and your organisation do for and in our communities.
Volunteering is very much part of the Kiwi way of life. It is estimated that more than 1.2 million Kiwi volunteers contribute in myriad ways to their fellow man through sport, arts and culture, conservation, health, social services, police, or education.
That is more than one million New Zealanders, averaging over 3 million hours every week, who provide a backbone to community development and help change the lives of many by giving back to their community.
The Southland electorate is no exception.
This year's theme is 'Time to reflect, Dream, Shine. This is a theme evident in the many ways volunteering activity occurs around our region.
Mahi aroha, doing work for love, is happening all around us.
Whether it is by helping out at the Sally's Op-Shop, feeding many through Baskets of Blessing or providing advice at the Citizens Advice Bureau.
There are also many opportunities to volunteer support to causes through the Whakatipu Reforestation Trust, Whakatipu Wilding Conifer Control Group and the Queenstown Trails Trust.
Volunteers support the work of the Queenstown Police Prevention team at the newly re-opened Arrowtown Police Station.
The Southern Wellbeing Trust and community partners' workshops supporting mental health and wellbeing, have also been popular with volunteers.
Whatever the cause, this week allows us to capture the essence of that volunteering spirit, where people connect in their communities and help make them better places to live in.
National Volunteer Week is an excellent time for first-timers to give volunteering a go – to be an active member of your community and help others.
Organisations like Te Atamira embrace the role that volunteers play, from assisting in front-of-house operations, special projects, behind the scenes opportunities, or at public events.
Volunteer South will be hosting a volunteer expo at Te Atamira on 21 June in partnership with Kiwi Kit Community Trust, if you’d like to find out more visit https://volunteersouth.org.nz/organisations/events
Let's take the opportunity together, to say a heartfelt "thank you" to the volunteers of the Southland Electorate and the organisations they work with for their part in making a difference.
We appreciate you.
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