Friday June 03, 2011
Did you know that 2011 has been designated European Year of the Volunteer?
No! Well now you do, so for those of you who’ve been thinking about volunteering but who’ve so far only paid this thought lip service; now is the time to do something about it. I mean, hasn’t your mother always told you, “it’s far better to give than receive.”
But, have you ever wondered why people volunteer? I mean, why work for no pay? Right!
Well, while I believe there are various reasons why people choose to donate their free time and talents out of the goodness of their hearts - I would imagine the most obvious one is having a sense of purpose. This is usually driven by a need to give something back.
Believe me it’s absolutely immeasurable the positive difference a volunteer can make to a struggling charitable organisation; especially when those angels come from all walks of life; mums and dads with a bit of spare time while the kids are at school, retired folk with boundless amounts of energy they need to expel; teenagers who want to act responsibly and do something for their community…the list is endless.
So with that sentiment in mind I’d like to dedicate this week’s column to the DSPCA’s unsung heroes, the lifeblood of our Society; our wonderful, amazing, volunteers!
Yes, you all know who you are! You are the people who make it all possible, who give unselfishly of your time, your love, your support, your compassion, your friendship, your humanity and your dedication to our staff and our animals, day in, day out. You are a critical part of this Society. Without you we’d be lost.
Every hour of every day you, the DSPCA volunteers make a worthwhile contribution to our work both economically and socially.
In its 171 year history, the DSPCA’s reputation has been steeped in tradition, not just for promoting humanity and compassion, not just for saving animals’ lives, but for its legion of volunteers who have, over decades, not just helped restore sick, injured and cruelly treated animals back to health but who have imbued upon us, the staff, a sense of strength and spirit that has inspired us, making us realise just how privileged we are to have you.
We rely heavily upon your commitment, your love for our animals, your eagerness to help and we appreciate every single minute you give us.
You come here and you make a connection; not just with our animals but with us and with each other; giving everyone a sense of belonging; a sense that we are all working toward one common goal – to build a better future for animals.
So, if sometimes we hold back on telling you just what a wonderful human being you are, or forget to mention that you’re doing an amazing job, please understand, we have an unending supply of appreciation for you in our hearts. We know and recognise your enthusiasm, it gives us heart, however, during those busy periods at the shelter, (er, like now while we’re in the middle of kitten season), we may forget to nurture that enthusiasm, forget to say thanks, forget to say how cherished you are, how your unselfishness has helped shape our shelter; but deep down inside we hold eternal gratitude for you and for the excellent work you do because you have made our concerns your concerns and for this we love you and will always love you.
So, whether it’s simply a case of saying “thank you for turning up today,” or “great job socialising those puppies,” you, our volunteers should know your contribution has managed to transform the repetitious tasks of daily shelter life into hours of mutual love, support and care and in spite of whatever stresses that may come our way, please understand that you are not taken for granted.
Your help is appreciated, your presence enriches, you are the heart of our Society, we honour your commitment and offer you our unyielding love and gratitude. You are exceptional human beings, each and every single one of you.