Pictured: A group of YMCA camping volunteers
Today is International Volunteer Day! Here at the Y we’d like to take this opportunity to acknowledge our volunteers for the awesome work they do.
Without our vollies, our organisation would not be able to achieve all that it does. From providing a disadvantaged child with the perfect experience at camp, to giving out high-fives to runners at the YMCA Father’s Day Fun Run, our volunteers are the heart and soul of our organisation. They bring an abundance of energy, joy and enthusiasm to our programs and services and help make the Y the safe, inclusive and diverse place that it is.
In the last year, our 1,200 volunteers generously gave 117,079 hours of their time. So today, we say thank you to all our wonderful volunteers, the time and energy you give to the Y is invaluable.
16 year old Ruby Wright volunteered at the YMCA Victoria State Office in November as part of her work experience for school. We first met Ruby when she was the top fundraiser at the inaugural YMCA Father’s Day Fun Run in 2016 and have stayed in touch since.
“Every interaction I had with the staff at the Y showed me the passion and care of the YMCA. There was no other place I’d rather do work experience!” she said.
“The Y, much like an octopus, has multiple limbs, and these limbs reach far and wide to care and help others. The past week has been one of the most engaging and interesting experiences of my life. I have learnt so much. The Y is full of the most kind, interesting people.”
Ruby sat with the fundraising team on her work experience, were she learned about the YMCA's fundraising, marketing and communications teams.
But she says the highlight was meeting and chatting with another Y volunteer, Gill Gibson.
“Gill is a volunteer and even as a writer I am wordless to describe her. I know she wouldn’t like me to go on (she is the definition of modesty) but meeting her was my favourite part of my YMCA experience,” Ruby said.
Gill has volunteered for the Y for around seven years. She became involved as an event volunteer with the YMCA back when we ran the Massive Murray Paddle. She now comes into the office every Wednesday to support the fundraising and volunteer development teams on a range of tasks.
“As I talked to Gill I realised how she believed that what she did for the Y was also the Y doing something for her. She talked of needing a relaxing time, of the reward of helping and keeping herself busy.”
Gill is a well-loved and valuable volunteer to the Y, just like all our vollies.
Thanks again to all our amazing volunteers, you make the Y a better place.