National Volunteer Week is Australia’s largest annual celebration of volunteers.
From Monday 17 to Sunday 23 May 2021, we celebrate the significant contribution of Australia’s almost six million volunteers. Each year these volunteers dedicate over 600 million hours to help others.
Volunteers play an important role at Yooralla, supporting and enhancing our many programs and activities with their invaluable contributions.
Frances (pictured) is one of these volunteers.
You can read Frances’ reflections on her volunteering journey at Yooralla below.
“For anyone considering becoming a volunteer, I can only say that volunteering has given me more than I have given it. It has really enriched my life in so many positive ways.” – Frances, volunteer at Yooralla’s Benalla op shop.
Tell us about your volunteering journey, when and how did it commence?
My volunteering journey commenced many years ago when I lived in Melbourne, when I volunteered at another op shop.
When my husband and I retired and moved to Benalla, we didn’t know anyone, so I decided to look around for local volunteering opportunities to meet the local community.
We did not have any children, so we did not have an avenue to meet new people and I knew that volunteering was a great way to connect with the community and make new friendships.
As I had volunteered at an op shop before when I lived in Melbourne, I decided to see what op shops were available to volunteer at the time, and this is how I started as a volunteer with Yooralla, almost two decades ago.
When did you start volunteering at Yooralla and why did you choose Yooralla?
I have been a volunteer with Yooralla for 17 years now!
When I was choosing all these years ago where to volunteer, I chose Yooralla because while there were other op shops in Benalla, I found that the atmosphere was the most welcoming and the volunteers were the friendliest at the Yooralla op shop.
Making a difference and giving back to the community was also important to me. I liked the fact that the money raised through the Yooralla op shop stayed in the town to support local people with disability.
What’s your typical day like when you’re volunteering at Yooralla’s Benalla op shop?
When I volunteer at the Yooralla op shop, my day usually starts at 9.30am, which is 30 minutes before the shop opens. I normally collect and price items and sort through the donations.
My time at the shop varies according to the amount of donations that we have received the day before and how much time I spend talking to the volunteers and the customers.
No day is ever the same and I enjoy volunteering at the op shop just as much as I did when I first started almost 20 years ago!
For those who may be considering becoming a volunteer – what can they expect to get out of it?
For anyone considering becoming a volunteer, I can only say that volunteering has given me more than I have given it. It has really enriched my life in so many positive ways.
The Yooralla op shop is a great place to start your volunteering journey. We are quite a team at Yooralla and look out for each other.
I have made many friends over my time volunteering and would highly recommend it to anyone of all ages and from all walks of life!
Are you thinking of volunteering? Whether it is for a few hours or days a week, we would love to hear from you. If you want to make a difference in people’s lives and give back to the community, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Find out more about volunteering at Yooralla.