Offering a helping hand at Happiness House, Queenstown
National Volunteer Week celebrates the collective contribution of the 1.2 million volunteers who enrich Aotearoa New Zealand. This year’s theme, chosen by Volunteering New Zealand, is “Whiria te tangata – weaving the people together”.
Locally, volunteers weave our communities together by fulfilling a diverse range of roles and helping 100s of organisations to realise their vision. From environmental improvement, fundraising initiatives, supporting older people and youth, sports groups, events and our emergency services, volunteers are crucial to keeping our communities strong, connected and vibrant.
Corey Sinteur has lived in Queenstown for seven years after a long stint of living overseas. He teaches small business and money management courses in the evenings, teaches at Queenstown Resort College and is proud to be a regular volunteer at Happiness House where he enjoys giving back to his local Queenstown community.
Happiness House offer a helping hand for families and individuals in need of a little extra support and in addition to their paid staff, are supported by a small team of dedicated volunteers.
“People from outside of Queenstown may think everybody who lives here is wealthy and there is no need for a place such as Happiness House to support and care for those in need of practical or emotional support. This need is growing in Queenstown just as it is in the whole of Aotearoa. Happiness House is a wonderful community asset for the Queenstown area. They are there as a support and encourage people to take ownership of their own life decisions and make healthy choices.” says Corey.
Happiness House provides a variety of services including being a drop-in centre for a hot drink and biscuit in their cosy kitchen, knitting, gardening, craft and disc golf groups, a resource room where donated clothes, bedding and small homeware are available for those who cannot afford to buy new and providing client liaison with other agencies. Friday is Produce Day and is always very popular. Fruit, veggies and other food items are donated by generous local companies and shared with local families and individuals.
“I became involved with the Happiness House trust last year when I offered practical assistance of mowing their lawns on a regular basis and giving a hand with maintenance of the property. .It’s very satisfying offering practical help to ensure the home looks great for visitors.” Corey says.
“My role has since expanded to assisting with the coordination of Happiness House’s major annual Winter Fundraiser. Myself and another volunteer Holly have spent four days sorting and organising winter clothing and snow gear generously donated by Queenstown locals to be sold over the next few months. Open to all members of the public we often have up to 50 customers per day and in only three weeks have already raised over $5,000 which assists the trust in providing other community services throughout the year.”
“I get a buzz from offering practical assistance and putting a smile on peoples faces. There’s always a warm smile to be shared with those who enter Happiness House. The world needs more warm smiles – especially on a chilly winter’s day and I am proud to be a part of that warmth.”
“The only challenge is how to find more time to help with such a wonderful cause!”
“If you’re considering volunteering just give it a go – the organization benefits and you may also be surprised how much you’ll receive in return whilst you’re volunteering. It doesn’t matter how much or little you can give – just give whatever you can.”
“We have a great bunch of volunteers at Happiness House and everyone is so happy to be involved. So many organisations would not survive without volunteers – whether it be a sports club, charity, event, or some other group – GET INVOLVED TODAY!
Thank you to Corey and volunteers around the region who share their time and skills with such passion and help keep our communities stronger, connected and vibrant.