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”.
Year-round, volunteers share their time and energy with organisations, causes and individuals that they are passionate about, their commitment often unwavering and certainly selfless.
During COVID 19 our country’s volunteers rallied to keep communities connected, to help them get well, stay well, and to answer the call to unite and be kind.
With over 1500 volunteers putting their hands up to help directly with the COVID 19 response across Otago, volunteers delivered groceries and meals to vulnerable people, made regular phone calls to check in on those isolating, helped with admin and IT support, formed huge needs assessment teams, distributed vouchers to those in financial difficulty and covered Meals on Wheels shifts, made deliveries for Salvation Army and helped meet demand in local op shops whose donations and demand for donations went through the roof.
The community spirit is strong and still shining brightly. Regionally, there are still many people continuing to support the welfare recovery, whether it is supporting older people re-gain their independence or volunteering as part of the huge welfare team as we all pull together to support our migrant workers who have lost jobs and struggling to keep their families here, or overseas, safe and secure.
Volunteers have revealed through connecting, we belong. And through generosity and ngākau nui, big heartedness, communities will be strong, be well, and be able to meet challenges and changes, both big and small.
We also encourage all volunteer involving organisations to celebrate and recognise their volunteers and Volunteering New Zealand have developed resources to support you that can be found on the National Volunteer Week website.