Saluting an army of volunteers: close-knit group of unsung heroes

LAYING IT ON THE LINE: St Vincent de Paul's volunteers Val Frecklington, Dorothea Higgins, An Gordon, Julie Egea and executive officer Frank Moes. Photo: ALEXANDRA KING 0513akvinnies2

LAYING IT ON THE LINE: St Vincent de Paul's volunteers Val Frecklington, Dorothea Higgins, An Gordon, Julie Egea and executive officer Frank Moes. Photo: ALEXANDRA KING 0513akvinnies2

WHEN people are doing it tough and are in need of food, shelter, clothes or support, one organisation many people turn to for help is St Vincent de Paul, which is run by a team of dedicated volunteers.

As part of National Volunteer Week, people like those at Orange’s St Vincent de Paul are being thanked for generously giving up their time to help others, most of whom do so without any form of recognition.

Each week, the Orange St Vincent de Paul Society shop, food van, cafe and pantry are manned by a close-knit group of volunteers, and Orange branch executive officer Frank Moes said they are the backbone of the organisation.

“The volunteers are absolutely vital, and are sometimes the unsung heros,” he said.

“We wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for volunteers.” 

The Orange St Vincent de Paul’s shop is the main source of revenue for the branch.

Volunteers are relied upon to empty clothing bins, sort through items and then sell them on, and while Mr Moes described the work as “intense”, he said volunteering was a rewarding way for people to make friends and socialise, especially if someone is new to town. 

“Especially when people get older, they can become more isolated, Thursday afternoon at Vinnies can be vital for some,” Mr Moes said.

 “There’s got to be a whole lot of fun it it, otherwise people wouldn’t do it.”

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