Thursday, September 7, 2023
Mackay and Whitsunday Life
The good thing about Father’s Day weekend is that I (the father) get to decide what my son does with me for the whole weekend. So, last weekend James and I spent one morning supporting the Mackay Community Visitors Association (MCVA) in a fundraising opportunity.
The Mackay Golf Club holds a charity golf day every year and spreads the funds raised to 10 local charities and not-for-profits. The MCVA is a beneficiary this year and we needed to supply two volunteers to assist with registration and the selling of raffle tickets.
I volunteer my son for about three to four charity events each year. He used to protest, but he doesn’t anymore… well not as much. I think he has started to realise the personal benefits of volunteering.
Volunteering is on decline around the world for many reasons and many service organisations are now ceasing to exist. There are not many young people coming through to replace the older generations when they step down. This will leave our generation without the many services provided by volunteer organisations when it’s our turn to retire or when we can no longer support ourselves.
Healthdirect.gov.au says volunteering can give our kids a sense of achievement and purpose, help them feel better about themselves by improving self-esteem and confidence; help combat stress, loneliness, social isolation and depression. It can help them meet new people, which can help them feel more connected and valued.
We can expose our kids to service through volunteering in many ways and then it’s up to them how they live their lives. As a child, my parents put me in Cubs, Scouts, Nippers/Surf Life Savers, our footy club and Cadets and I’ve been volunteering with many organisations ever since.
Volunteering helped me understand my purpose. I’ve made lifelong friends and it even helped me get two paid jobs because employers seem to like giving jobs to people connected to their communities. I want all of that for my son as well. I want these things for all of our kids, so talk to them about volunteering – it may set them up for life.
Cr Justin Englert
Mackay Regional Council