IT only takes a quick trip round the Central Business District these days to become aware of the number of charitable causes being supported by the people of Orange and its visitors.
Each of these, however, needs volunteers with the time, dedication and availability to staff these venues and enable the fund raising to succeed.
It would take too much space even to begin to list the worthy causes, but one that deserves mention at this time of year is the Bloomfield and Riverside Hospital Auxiliary currently conducting its annual giant raffle.
Mental health, drug and alcohol and intellectual disability are not what one would call popular topics of conversation, although in more recent times they seem to be emerging out of the shadows.
If one in five people will suffer a mental illness in their lifetime – and I believe the number has gone up in recent times – then there can be very few people who do not have a loved one or know someone who suffers in this way.
It affects children and adolescents too, just as any other physical illness.
It is encouraging to note that Ronald McDonald House Orange decided to extend its services to families of mentally ill youngsters as well as those physically ill.
Many people seem to be unaware that such a unit exists and simply think of the usual paediatrics unit and the support it needs.
Our auxiliary tries to enhance the life and living, rehabilitation, recovery, relaxation and general well-being of all the clientele within the services at a very personal and practical level and that takes money and needs active members.
We meet monthly and conduct a few activities throughout the year but members are not needed to fill weekly rosters as some others do.
Anyone reading this who feels inclined to give it a go could contact me for further details.
Congratulations and thank you to all the volunteers who support all the charitable works that function in our city and to all those who contribute to our fundraising appeals.
You are pure gold.
Sister Mary Trainor
NOTHING MORE THAN A WASTE OF TIME, MONEY
BECAUSE of the malign influence of Tony Abbott's conservative pals, we'll waste a couple of "spare" millions on a plebiscite.
Just as the wording of the referendum on the republic ensured it would founder, so the plebiscite will be cunningly worded to fail, but only after lots of gay people have been insulted and attacked – a conservative spite-fest.
It seems only yesterday that United States of America President Barack Obama said he wanted the Great Barrier Reef to survive – and yet it's dying.
Only a vigorous fight against climate change could save it.
Our present response to the environmental crisis is ineffectual because Abbott's conservatives are still resisting real action.
Decades ago, then-Prime Minister Bob Hawke suggested that we become the clever country.
Well, we certainly rejected that idea and the fact that Abbott's conservatives are still powerful is evidence of just how far from it we are.