Celebrating Volunteers during NVW 2020

We asked our members for examples of extraordinary volunteering and, courtesy of Countdown, gave out Gift Cards so they could acknowledge and celebrate their volunteer efforts.

Celebrating Sue, volunteer for Under the Stars.
Under the Stars provides meals to the homeless and needy and during lockdown, delivered meals to those in emergency accommodation and in their homes.

“It is a HUGE effort to cook, set up, help, deliver, clean, etc and Sue has been incredible,” says Volunteer Coordinator Laura. “We normally do about 30-40 lunches on Thursdays and about 60-70 for Saturday dinner. However our numbers more than doubled during lockdown, averaging 352 meals per week which put a strain on our already limited resources. I don’t think I wouldn’ve coped had it not been for Sue’s unwavering support and commitment to our cause.”

Celebrating Toko, volunteer for Alzheimers Tauranga.
Tauranga Alzheimers Volunteer Coordinator, Faye Philp says that volunteers play a vital role in our community.

“It’s hard to single out one volunteer,” says Faye. “But Toko springs to mind. He’s a very involved volunteer who is always willing to step in if we are short somewhere and encourages others and participates wholeheartedly in our volunteer team.
“He is our music man and leads a couple of our social/companion groups. During Covid-19 lockdown he was keen to keep up music conversations to stay socially connected with our client group. He learned new skills and, through the medium of Zoom, adapted and improved our delivery of music to the social group we run every Monday morning. We had some laughs during our trial and error and it’s been great to hear and see our clients engaging in the music and seeing smiles on their faces.”

Celebrating Sue, volunteer for Salvation Army.
“The Salvation Army is committed to their mission of caring for people, transforming lives and reforming society. “Without our ​wonderful volunteers, we would be unable to help as many people as we do,” says Davina Plum​mer, Tauranga’s Manager Community Ministries. 

“Sue is our right hand​lady. She welcomes and oversees our new volunteers, brings in donations and ​sorts them ready to go out to those in need.  She generally just rolls up her sleeves and gets things done. We are thrilled to have this opportunity to thank Sue for always going over & above.”

Sue has shared with us that volunteering has always been in her family and it’s a legacy left to her from her parents.  This is really evident in that she really knows what she is doing, is so willing and is a real team player.  We can’t say thank you enough!!

Celebrating Mavis, volunteer for Alzheimers EBOP.
Mavis has been volunteering with Alzheimers Eastern Bay of Plenty for about 6 years. 

“I’ve had the privilege to work with Mavis and vouch for her determination, hard work and support,” says Wendy Tozer, Alzheimers EBOP Volunteer Programme Coordinator. “She doesn’t hesitate to take on new challenging clients and always has such a positive attitude.”

“Her words, help and actions go a long way towards helping people living with dementia to keep their independence and dignity. She tirelessly works in the Blokes’ Shed in Kawerau, helping the blokes’ living with dementia to have quality time in a man’s arena. With Mavis’s help they make toys but probably more importantly there are a lot of yarns and  talk of old times. She’s a good listener, patient, flexible to change and often works well beyond the call of duty. Mavis treats everyone with respect and kindness no matter what the situation.“Many people forget what you said, and people forget what you did but they never forget how you made them feel and this is more so with people living with Alzheimers. We are very grateful to have Mavis on our team.”

Celebrating Philippa and Sue, volunteers for Tauranga Community Foodbank.
“The BIGGEST of Thank You’s to two of our volunteers – Philippa de Vere and Sue Wright. Without these two we would have really struggled to manage the Foodbank through the Lock-down period. They were here every day working their butts off. Can’t thank them enough.”