Changing Communities. Changing Lives is the 2020 theme of National Volunteer Week (NVW). Running from 18-24 May this year, NVW acknowledges the generous contribution of Australia’s 3.6+ million volunteers.
When this theme was launched on International Volunteer Day, 5 December 2019, no one could have imagined how much the COVID-19 pandemic would change all our lives.
Different celebrations in different times
Each year, during NVW, many hundreds of gatherings around Australia celebrate the contributions volunteers make to their communities. At JNC, too, we usually meet up at this time to thank our volunteers. But of course we couldn’t hold a gathering of this kind this year. So the JNC thanked our wonderful volunteers in different ways, including a “Little Hug from the JNC”: a booklet sharing favourite mood boosters from our staff.
Changing lives a different way
At the JNC, the past months have been challenging. To keep our community safe, changes were necessary for all services. Our channels of communication have been open during this time, via phone, email, webcasts and social media. The JNC website has been updated, offering lots of current information, ideas for staying connected and resources for families and communities. We’ve started planning for recovery, and will carefully re-introduce our old programs as restrictions are lifted. Check this website for updates.
Our centres remain closed, but our commitment to our community continues. We’re continuing our shopping and food delivery services and introducing some online groups.
One of the sad aspects of the changes is that many of our volunteer roles are on hold. Also, some people have understandably chosen to not volunteer in order to #staysafe. We miss everyone, and hope it will not be too long before we see people back volunteering at the JNC. Volunteering, we know, is important for many reasons: it offers a chance to give back to the community, participate in community life and build social connections. We look forward to welcoming all our volunteers back.
Can’t do it without you
So a huge shout out to all our wonderful volunteers this week. A big thank you for all you have done for us. We also thank you in anticipation for everything we know you’ll do in the future. As many of you have heard before, “We could not do it without you”.
Keep well in these challenging times and stay safe and connected. And we hope that by International Volunteer Day on 5 December we can all gather in person, sharing experiences and celebrating the work our volunteers do with JNC.
JNC General Manager