The generosity of our community is as evident as ever in Christchurch says Volunteering Canterbury Outreach and Marketing Manager, Glenda Martin, who is privileged in her role to see this happening on a daily basis. “Take for example”, she says, “the desire to recycle and re-use.”

When individuals drop unwanted goods at second hand shops they are satisfied by their actions of decluttering and recycling. They feel good about it. The impact of their generosity, though, is much wider than any benefit to themselves. Not-for-profit community groups utilising ‘op shops’ as funding streams are enabled to continue to provide essential services in the community through those individual acts of generosity. “There is a real need for organisations to talk more about the impact they are having in their communities” Glenda says. By telling those stories, there is an opportunity for a much more tangible connection to be made between an action – in this example, of recycling rather than dumping – to the broader community. “If you felt good about the action, how good will you feel when you realise what that action means in the broader sense of impact in the community?”

A recent example of this, was the generous gifting by local business, Allwood Tree Nursery of six cords of firewood to St Vincent de Paul. Volunteering Canterbury, through its Group Volunteering Programme, was able to match the generosity of the gift of firewood with the generosity of a gift of time from a Church of Latter Day Saints team who bagged the firewood up in preparation for distribution to around 100 homes in Christchurch. The impact of that distribution will be warmer homes which means healthier living, less absenteeism from workplaces and schools, and an increase in general wellbeing. “People giving their time, together with a gifting of a product is a robust formula for investing in impact in our communities”.

Photo: The team from Church of Latter Day Saints, bagging firewood for distribution to homes in Christchurch.

Glenda Martin
Volunteering Canterbury
Ph: 366 2442
outreach@volcan.org.nz