December 5th is International Volunteer Day.
What image does the word “Volunteer” conjure up for you?
For me, being from a civil service background, we were often “volunteered” to do the jobs no one else was keen on. However, in CAFOD we hold our volunteers in much higher regard.
We deeply appreciate their hard work and their willingness to spread the CAFOD message. Whether they go into schools to help children to understand the wider world, come into the office to input data or stand at the side of a road cheering on other volunteer runners while they raise funds, we rely on their unfailing help.
We always try to make volunteering a “win-win” situation, with both sides getting the outcome they want. For some volunteers, it might be a bit of work experience, a chance to use their skills to benefit others or a way of living out their Christian values. In Middlesbrough diocese, we have one and 2/3rds staff units and about 56 schools. Without our team of schools volunteers, we could never get around them all but our team are there at Harvest, Lent and Christmas to keep our pupils up to date with our campaigns.
It’s a similar story with speaking at Mass for our Fast Day appeals. Two people running like headless chickens, trying to deliver talks at all our churches just can’t happen, so our Speaking at Mass volunteers are like megaphones, multiplying the message and literally raising their voices on behalf of people living in poverty.
So, CAFOD volunteers, we salute you on your special day! (We salute you all the time really!) Next time you bump into any of us, make sure we at least make you a cup of tea and bring you a biscuit. It might only be a token of our appreciation, but that appreciation is heart-felt.
A huge “Thank You” to all our volunteers from the office, the organisation and from all those who you help.
We just couldn’t do CAFOD without you.
*If anyone would like to join our volunteer team, please just contact the office on 01904 671 767