National Volunteer Week: Meet a few of the charities doing amazing work in our communities

    18 Jun 2018

    While each and every day is a good opportunity to acknowledge people going the extra mile in our communities, National Volunteer Week is the perfect time to really pay attention to those people giving their time to the organisations that need it most. Between 17 and 23 June, the 1.2 million Kiwis who volunteer in our communities are celebrated, with this year’s theme being ‘Volunteers, The Heart of our Community – By many, the work will be completed, Mā tini , mā mano, ka rapa te whai.

    So we also want to acknowledge and celebrate the things that volunteers and charities do. Earlier this year, you might remember that we held a mega ‘15000 Washes’ giveaway to celebrate hitting 15000 followers on Facebook. Our five winners won 45 boxes of laundry powder each – as well as 45 boxes of laundry powder for their respective chosen charities. To recognise National Volunteers Week, here’s a little insight into each of the charities that took home a prize.

    Ronald McDonald House Wellington was nominated by Merehana of Wellington. Alongside locations in Auckland and Christchurch, Ronald McDonald House Wellington provides a home away from home for families with hospitalised children. The House itself is a comfy retreat just across the road from the wards of Wellington Regional Hospital, and staff at the House provide important support and assistance throughout each family’s stay. 

    A charity fewer people may be familiar with, but one doing amazing work is I Got Your Back Pack, which Alana of Tauranga nominated. I Got Your Back Pack is a non-profit initiative and registered charity that supports Women’s Refuge. Their volunteers support those in crisis due to domestic violence through providing backpacks filled with practical and essential items.
    Louise of Dunedin chose to recognise Otago Community Hospice. This organisation provides critically important community-based palliative care to the dying – operating by the vision: ‘To support and empower all people who are dying in Otago, to live well and die well.’
    Waitara Foodbank was the organisation chosen by Tash, who is local to the Taranaki town. The Foodbank provides the vulnerable and those in changed circumstances with food parcels to make sure that everyone in the community have something to eat, even when money is tight and life is full of obstacles.
    And Christchurch’s Michiko decided to donate the charity prize and her own prize to two important organisations – SPCA Christchurch and Women’s Refuge.
    The SPCA is an organisation that most will be familiar with – and SPCA Canterbury needs more than $3 million per year to operate their services in the region. They are advocates for animals, caring for thousands of them every year, rescuing them from harmful situations and rehabilitating those that are injured or sick.
    Women’s Refuge New Zealand are an organisation designed to work towards preventing and stopping family violence in Aotearoa. They assist women and their children from all walks of life, with support services designed for Māori women, Pasifika women, young people, children, and migrant and refugee women.
    These are just a few of the many organisations doing incredible work in New Zealand – so if you know someone who willingly gives their time to a charity, why not show your appreciation to them this National Volunteer Week?