Every year, New Zealand celebrates National Volunteer Week to recognise and celebrate the vital contribution of volunteers to their communities. The 2017 volunteer week will be held from June 18 to 24. This year’s theme is ‘Live, laugh, share – volunteer’ or ‘Kia ringa hora: Me mahi tūao’.
Volunteering NZ says volunteering it is good for people, the community and for the social development of the country because it helps to build the ‘social fabric’ that keeps people connected and engaged in our world. It is important to recognise volunteering and the place it has in keeping communities strong and healthy.
The benefits of being a volunteer are well-documented. There is better health and the ‘feel good’ endorphins that volunteering releases; the fact that volunteering can help with job prospects; plus other health benefits such as extending longevity and reducing depression in many people.
As poet and essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson observed, “It is one of the beautiful compensations of life that no man can sincerely help another without helping himself.”
National Volunteer Week is designed to recognise and celebrate the joy that volunteers bring to their communities. It also serves as a reminder that volunteers “reap the reward of a happier, more engaged life because they feel connected to their community”.
To find or create an event marking National Volunteering Week, go to nationalvolunteerweek.nz where there is an interactive map, or #NVW2017 on social media.
Finding Volunteer Roles
Where you volunteer depends on your own available time, as well as community organisations’ own availability to take on a volunteer.
- Through friends or family – ask around to see what group(s) may need some help.
- By asking groups you or your family are already associated with.
- By contacting a regional volunteer centre – in person, by phone or via their website.
- Online through a volunteering website, like SEEK Volunteer.
Key messages for your volunteers
- Your contributions make a difference
- We want to celebrate what you are doing
- We want you to share your stories of volunteering
- We hope to mobilise those around you to join in
- Your efforts build community and foster connections
- Help us make this place a better space to live in
- Celebrate volunteering – volunteering is good for your health
Key messages for your wider team and organisation
- Let’s celebrate the efforts of our volunteers
- Let’s acknowledge the work that is enabled by volunteers
- Let’s look for ways to enhance further volunteer effort