Sacred Heart Mission column

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This National Volunteer Week (12-18 May 2014) Sacred Heart Mission would like to say a massive thank-you all 900 of our active volunteers. You are the backbone of our organisation and we couldn’t keep our doors open without you. Many of you come from the City of Port Phillip, some travel from the country, others come in groups with their school, work team or community group.

What brings you together is your desire to do something about the social issue of homelessness and to make an impact in our community, and for that we thank-you.

Volunteering means we can do much, much more with what we have.

  • Last year, you collectively donated 75,185 hours of your time.
  • We have 4 volunteers for every 1 staff member.
  • Last year our volunteers collectively donated 75,185 hours of their time.
  • This contribution is valued, very conservatively, at around $2 million per annum.

You – members of our volunteering community – can be found in our dining hall peeling potatoes and preparing to serve lunch to 300 people, selling raffle tickets at our Heart of St Kilda Concert, encouraging creativity in one of our arts therapy programs, improving people’s wellbeing with the offer of holistic health therapies at our clinic, leading a yoga class, coaching football and cricket or teaching basic IT skills, taking aged care residents for a coffee at the Half Moon Bay cafe, serving and chatting to customers at our op shops, creating a fresh salad for lunch at our Women’s House, walking around St Kilda doing a letterbox drop, visiting an aged care resident, rattling a tin at Acland Court, snapping photos at one of our many events, sitting on reception greeting people and dealing with the myriad of queries, developing a business continuity plan for the organisation, offering administrative support behind-the-scenes… just to name a few.

However, as well as giving your time, talents and often elbow grease, you bring energy, enthusiasm and cheerfulness to the Mission. You are a friendly face to the people who come seeking practical assistance, companionship and a retreat from the harsh, often frightening world of homelessness.

To paraphrase a 20-year-old who just recently started volunteering in our dining hall: big issues such as social inequity and poverty can be really overwhelming and it can be difficult to know how, as an individual, you can have any impact. However, through volunteering, you are doing your own part and through your collective effort, great things happen in our community.

Thank-you to all our volunteers – we couldn’t do our work without you!

Special thanks to volunteer Eileen Ashe for the photos

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