Guest blogger Carol McLeay from Townsville explains why she volunteers for Endeavour Foundation.
I don’t think it’s too much of an exaggeration to say that volunteering has been a life-changing experience for me.
As a mother of two children who now live on the Gold Coast and Melbourne, volunteering has given me a meaningful role in my local community – a role which I value immensely.
Although I am originally from Melbourne, we lived in Papua New Guinea (PNG) for 13 yrs. During that time I volunteered at the YWCA artefact shop which was, you could say, where I first discovered how much I could gain from giving something back.
After leaving PNG my husband was offered a job here in Townsville. That job was for one year yet, 21 years on, here I still am. Sadly my husband passed away seven years ago and, although I have no family here, it’s still my home. I honestly feel that the main reason I stay is the purpose and sense of community I get from volunteering with Endeavour Foundation’s Business Service in Garbutt.
I started volunteering for Endeavour Foundation 12 years ago because I felt as though I needed to do something worthwhile for the community. I decided that helping people with disabilities would be hugely rewarding, and I can honestly say that I’ve never looked back.
We sort through in the region of 350,000-400,000 kilos of clothing and goods which have been donated for sale in our stores every year and it is a tremendous honour to do so alongside our wonderful supported employees. There is no question in my mind - I get more from them than they get from me. The highlight of my day is when I walk in of a morning and they all yell out, “Good morning Carol!”
Thanks to my wonderful fellow volunteers, the staff and supported employees I really feel like I have a second family up here, which means the world.
For anyone who feels they have some time to spare, need a new interest or to feel they need to find a new purpose in life, I wholeheartedly recommend volunteering with Endeavour Foundation. I promise you’ll be so glad you did.
If you'd like to join our team of amazing volunteers, there are lots of opportunities available for all types of skillsets and availability. Please visit our volunteer page.