May 14, 2019 by daniela

Next week (20 – 26 May) is National Volunteer Week, an opportunity to celebrate our volunteers, from their incredible support to the many reasons behind their will to help kids.

We’ve put together a few stories from Variety volunteers across Australia to showcase their hard work and dedication and the motivation behind it.

Cheryl, hair donation assistant, NSW

Cheryl was a teacher before retiring and taught many children who required some extra support in their learning and everyday needs. She could see first- hand how hard it was at times for the families of these kids to receive outside help, so that they could lead a happy life and reach their full potential.

“When I retired, I volunteered at Variety because I was aware of the wonderful work that they do to help these special children and the support they give to the families as well. Since becoming involved with the “Hair with Heart” program, I am amazed at the generosity of people who not only donate their hair but also raise funds for this worthwhile program. It is very rewarding for me to be able to give a little of my time to help Variety achieve its goals and continue the wonderful work that they do.”

Neil, volunteer, Tasmania

Neil Davis is a retired pastry chef who started at Variety Tasmania in May 2017, helping to sort the donated books for the 2017 Monster Book Fair. Now Neil not only sorts books once a week, but he also helps sell raffle tickets or merchandise such as teddy bears and glow sticks at Variety Tasmania events. For Neil, the rewards of volunteering for Variety Tasmania is knowing that the work we do puts smiles on kids’ faces. Plus he gets a cup of tea at the Variety Tasmania office in the morning!

Con, all-rounder volunteer, NSW

Con has been involved with Variety as a volunteer for about 18 years now. He started on the organising committee for an event called Hot To Trot at Harold Park Paceway, which no longer exists. When he retired nearly 9 years ago, Con decided he wanted to spend more of his available time helping out Variety with various fundraising activities.

“I am a migrant and this country has been very good to me and although it sounds like a cliche, I had a compelling desire to give something back to my community. I thoroughly enjoy the company of the Variety staff and volunteering family and am always looking forward to the next event.”

A highlight for Con every year is the Variety Kids Xmas Party “It is just about the best day of the year for me. I get so much pleasure from seeing all the smiling faces on this day and the joy we can give to the families at this time of the year.”

Cheyne, event volunteer, NSW

Cheyne loves volunteering and working so closely with a range of people. “I love being out and about as it allows me to see firsthand, what everyone’s hard work is doing in the lives of others. Volunteering for Variety at the Sydney Family Show was a great opportunity for me as it allowed me to gain a new perspective on the best way to use my time and how rewarding it is to volunteer for an organisation such as Variety. My highlight was being able put on the bunny costume and see how happy it made so many people. A huge range of people were so excited to see the bunny and it gave me a big boost seeing their reactions. It made me feel like what I was doing is truly valued.”

Hayley and Luke, event volunteers, Tasmania

Hayley and Luke’s volunteering started with a pack of cards – “52 Fun Date Ideas”. The card they pulled out in 2015 suggested they volunteer for a day at a charity, and so they signed up for Monster Book Fair duty. From then on, Hayley and Luke have been regulars at Variety Tasmania events, helping out and selling raffle tickets.

Hayley says “We enjoy doing it. The events are always a lot of fun, and we love knowing that the money raised in Tasmania goes to Tasmanian kids”.

Kevin, Bash volunteer, Western Australia

For 28 years, Kevin Cochrane has made an outstanding contribution to Variety – the Children’s Charity of Western Australia, through his tireless work as a support crew member for the Variety WA Bash. Kevin first became involved with Variety in 1989, completing three Bashes interstate, before joining the Variety WA Bash in 1991 as a participant.

In total, Kevin has completed an incredible 27 Bashes since 1991. Never complaining and always willing to assist his fellow Bashers, he is beloved by the Bash community and described by many as the ‘soul’ of the Bash because of his generosity to help.

Pfizer volunteers, Sydney

Volunteering for Variety is one of those unforgettable experiences that stay on your mind long after the events have concluded. We at Pfizer have had the privilege of volunteering at a number of events including the Variety Kids Xmas Party, Ice Skating, Activate Inclusion Sport, Variety or Chefs, Christmas Choir and more recently the Variety Easter Fun Day. Each event is unique in its program and activity but they all result in the same rewarding feeling and immense satisfaction that every Volunteer share. We all feel so special to be able to volunteer and be a small part of the Variety children’s lives. To know that our effort and time were put to good use and have contributed to the smiles on their faces, is such a humbling experience. Part of the success of these events is due to the effectiveness and efficiencies in how the events are run by the Variety Staff. The coordination pre, during and post the events are impeccable and seamless, which contributed to the overall volunteering experience. We feel extremely grateful to call ourselves Variety Volunteers and to support such a worthy cause. So thank you Variety, for enabling us to volunteer and allowing us to help give the Australian kids a fair go!

Thank you to everyone for sharing your involvement in volunteering for Variety! We love having you all help make a world of difference to the kids.
If you’d like to volunteer, either in the office or on one of our upcoming event, please apply here.