Amidst the chaos of life whether you are working, studying or trying to run a family, it is sometimes difficult to find some time for yourself and give back to your community. Sometimes, it is much easier to spend your weekends watching your favourite TV shows or lazing around on the couch. Nonetheless, this ‘timeout’ and separation from busy life can still be attained in a meaningful way through volunteering.

Last week, Challenge celebrated National Volunteer Week – a week that lauds the relentless dedication and giving nature of our nation’s incredible volunteers.  Undoubtedly, volunteers are integral and valued members of our society – particularly for an organisation like Challenge. Our volunteers are crucial to the delivery of our programs and services and without them, we would not be able to achieve our mission of improving the lives of children and families living with cancer.

The intrinsic nature of volunteering is that it does not discriminate in its recruitment, people of all ages are invited and encouraged to pursue the act of volunteering and giving back to the community in some way. Though indeed volunteering is an altruistic activity in that the members of our volunteering community possess an unselfish devotion to the welfare of others – it can be seen that by engaging in volunteering, there are inadvertent benefits for you as a person.

So what are these benefits? The most obvious and significant of them all is that volunteering is a fulfilling activity for the soul. The inherent reward of volunteering is the discovery of a personal sense of worth and satisfaction that is obtained from the joy of helping someone else. Secondly, volunteering is an avenue for meeting new people who often share similar interests. It is a successful means of quenching our need for interaction in a beneficial manner. Furthermore, it is also a way of building on and developing new skills that will enable you to achieve other things in different aspects of your life. Finally, volunteering is a great source of perspective. Perspective is a very necessary and often forgotten facet of our lives and to gain it, we must separate ourselves from our personal lives and experience someone else’s, which is what volunteering allows one to do.

We at Challenge are extremely grateful to all our amazing volunteers for their dedication and commitment. The Challenge organisation would not exist today without the team of volunteers that have supported us for the past 34 years. We would like to thank you all for your support.

If you know someone who would like to get involved with Challenge, a training session for volunteers is being held tomorrow night, Tuesday 16th May, at the Challenge Family Centre from 6.30pm – 8.30pm. Please email mail@challenge.org.au or call the office on 03 9329 8474.