I have done a great deal of volunteer work in the past 15 years before Dolly came into my world. Here are some of the things I have done:
- London for 8 weeks, to help build a community house with hammer and nails.
- 4 weeks (against my families wishes) in a refugee camp for traumatised children in ex-Yugoslavia towards the end of the war.
- In Melbourne with Asylum Seekers and Refugees for a couple of years in a food bank and legal team assistant and researcher.
- In Australia for an AIDS council, early nineties handing out condoms at concerts/nightclubs and counselling on the phones.
- Sorting clothes for the Red Cross during flooding.
- Helping with activities during a Mental Health Week Event.
- Working in a needle exchange for roughly a year every second Saturday handing out syringes to substance users and condoms to sex workers.
- A few months filling in for a volunteer at a Red Cross book trolley in a hospital handing out books and magazines for people to read and lending an ear.
- "Friend" to a young woman with various disabilities who no one wanted to work with due to a past extremely violent act and constant stream of "offensive" swear words.
- Various sausage sizzles for different fundraising events.
- Helped the UN feed refugees fleeing East Timor in Darwin's Tent City (I was able to also track down a friends missing family by showing everyone 2 photos I had of her family. Found out they were taking refuge on another Indonesian island and got a phone number for her! Great personal moment making the call to her with the news!)
- Helped a toy library stock-take all their toys for a couple of days. Mind numbing.
With my hectic eco-frugal family life I feel I don't have time to regularly volunteer anymore. And if I do volunteer it must not put me out of pocket or drain me emotionally, as I need all I have for my family, which has definitely not been the case in the past.
Last week I did a 3 hour volunteer stint at the Darwin Show for the department I work for. No heartbreaks there. In exchange I received a Polo Shirt ($40) which I can wear as a uniform to work and get a tax break of .50 cents every time I wash it. I also received a ticket to the show which saved my family one $17 entry fee.
Total yearly value: $40 shirt + $17 ticket + $69 washing = $126, not too shabby :-)
Tonight my partner The Rambling Expat is volunteering. He is sleeping in a hammock on the Endeavour Replica from the Australian National Maritime Museum, which is visiting Darwin for 10 days. In his 12.5 hours on board he also has to complete a 2 hour stint of guarding the ships decks during the night. In exchange he gets an amazing experience that others pay $250 to $500 a night to have AND he receives a free family pass for 2 adults and 4 children $38! Now that is cool... And it was so easy. All he had to do was apply, be enthusiastic, have a clear police check and attend a 3 hour training with free lunch.
Total value: $125 twelve hours experience on the ship + $38 family pass + $15 lunch = $178, very nice deal indeed.
|Arrived in Port a few hours earlier, Sails Down.|
|The Rambling Expat Off to Experience Boat Living 200 yrs ago.|
Here's another Blogger who volunteers for enjoyment and perks.
Do you do any volunteer work for the good of humanity/community or for any perks to keep you life financially balanced? Love to hear what you have to say.