TODAY it is time to honour the 7000 volunteers in Orange who sacrifice their spare time to help and enrich the lives of others.
On International Volunteers Day, Orange mayor John Davis says the community is fortunate to have so many passionate people who volunteer across a range of causes and organisations.
“Whether it’s Meals on Wheels or bushfire fighters, the Orange community relies on their efforts and many services we value just wouldn’t happen without them,” he said.
“I hope the volunteers in our city realise just how much they are appreciated.”
Cr Davis says council has about 300 volunteers who give freely of their time to contribute to programs such as refugee mentoring, Telecare to check on the elderly in their homes, helping out at the library, art gallery and theatre and even assisting the frail and disabled with their shopping.
Yesterday, on the eve of International Volunteers Day, Orange Health Service (OHS) staff thanked many of the 400 volunteers who assist at the hospital in various roles.
Operations manager Catherine Nowlan said everyone’s contribution was greatly appreciated by staff at the hospital, from the volunteers who run the kiosk to members of the grandparents group who read to children in the paediatric ward.
“Orange is an incredibly generous community and that is reflected in the growing numbers of volunteers we are seeing here at the hospital,” Ms Nowlan said.
Her sentiments were echoed by Rosie Frecklington who co-ordinates the Vinnies Van, which distributes food to needy families.
“Not only are our 88 volunteers who work on the van the unsung heroes of our community, so are the sponsors who provide us with all the food,” she said.
Among Orange’s thousands of volunteers are the 100 who put together the annual Relay for Life for the Cancer Council, as well as collecting donations on Daffodil Day and Pink Ribbon Day.
“Our volunteers are absolutely amazing,” Cancer Council communiy relations co-ordinator Camilla Barlow said.
Tomorrow Orange City Council will host a thank you function for its many volunteers in recognition of their efforts in the community this year.