AS we mark Volunteers Week, here’s a couple of staggering figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
In its most recent study, the ABS found that 5.8 million Australians or 31% of the population had volunteered in 12 month period.
Those same volunteers contributed 743 million hours to the community.
No wonder we need to celebrate the volunteer.
Take, for instance, the women who lend their time and expertise to help children with homework at the Tea Gardens Library.
The group, some of them ex-teachers, spend Wednesday afternoons helping children in a range of subjects from Maths and English to research for projects.
“I just love being with children,” said former teacher Leonie Keipert who’s been a volunteer at the Library for three years.
“I enjoy volunteering, and I love books, I read anything and everything so this was a natural fit,” Barbara Scott told News Of The Area.
“I think it’s a great way of introducing children to the library and it’s nice for them to meet older people,” Barbara said.
It’s a win, win situation for the volunteers, the children and their parents.
“One girl when she first came, she was unable to do any homework by herself,” Leonie said.
“She was so lacking in confidence and to watch her shine now is so encouraging.”
“We find that parents trying to do homework with three or four children at home can be difficult,” Librarian Carol Johnson said.
“We’ve had parents come in to the Library just to say thank you.”
“It’s one night when they don’t pull their hair out.”
The Library also provides free afternoon tea, free computer use and printing for the students.
Homework Help happens Wednesday afternoons from 3.30pm except in school holidays.
By Margie TIERNEY