For love not money: what keeps volunteers coming back

They gladly work for free and significantly contribute to all walks of life, so it’s fitting that volunteers across the world are being acknowledged on their own special day

Although some, such as Dianne McCallum, 51, didn’t realise it was International Volunteer Day on Monday but appreciates the support for her role in helping the community at Wozzles Warehouse.

SOCIAL: Dianne McCallum is happy to be gaining the experience in her volunteer role. Picture: Lachlan Bence.

SOCIAL: Dianne McCallum is happy to be gaining the experience in her volunteer role. Picture: Lachlan Bence.

“I love my job, [although] it’s not a job,” she said. “[Being a volunteer is] a really good role model for people who think they can’t do anything. It’s a purpose to get out of bed and to give back to the community.”

Wozzles Warehouse is an outlet of Children and Family Services who sell second-hand goods including clothing, with surplus funds going directly to programs assisting children and families in need.

“I’m a mum, so to know that it goes back into family and child services is very rewarding,” Dianne said. “That’s a double win; helping yourself and the children, but mostly the children.”

Dianne, who’s looking for paid employment, said it’s good to volunteer in the meantime because of the benefits it provides.

“It gives me retail experience and keeps me social,” she said. 

“While looking for paid employment, one you get a pay packet, the other you get through a smile.”

Diane previously volunteered for the Salvation Army for four months before a foot injury prevented her from continuing. 

On recovering, Dianne began volunteering for Wozzles Warehouse about four months ago.

“Whatever [work] comes, I take it,” she said. “I go beyond what I’m required to do because I enjoy it so much.”

Volunteering is an essential element of society, with the work ranging from being on the frontline of natural disaster recovery efforts to helping out at local opportunity shops. 

There are 5.8 million Australians over 18 who volunteer, according to the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics data from 2014.

The yearly economic impact of volunteering in Australia is $290 billion according to a 2014 report by University of Adelaide Senior Researcher Dr Lisel O’Dwyer.