International Volunteer Day: 5 December 2017

It’s International Volunteer Day today!

Volunteering is a rewarding way to make connections in your community.

It’s a great way to make friends, professional relationships, to do something interesting and challenging with your spare time.

Often volunteering leads to employment.

After finishing uni at Massey University, I worked as a volunteer. At Te Manawa, (The Manawatu Museum) I worked as a Visitor Host. Speaking to groups of children and guiding their experience in the Fantastic (live!) Fish display was challenging and fun.

Te Manawa also offered schools a ‘culture of the past’ experience where children could churn the butter, use a printing press, and do the washing the way it was done in the 1900s.

In Christchurch you can volunteer at Canterbury Museum.

While looking for work in education, I chanced upon ARLA (The Adult Reading Association). This group provided very good training for its tutors, and work with a variety of clients – I worked with three ESOL students from Northern China, and a really nice Māori kuia who had had a stroke and needed to re-establish her reading pathways.

In Christchurch, Literacy Christchurch (formerly ARAS Adult Reading Assistance Scheme) perform this function in the community.

I’ve heard of WWoofing, and now I’ve found their website. Wwoofers are welcome all over New Zealand. I know of a group in Rangiwahia in the North Island that uses them. REACT (The Rangiwahia Environmental Arts Trust) farm organically and grow wicker – being responsible for the Chinese Lantern Festival in Palmerston North. They also run groups in Wellington, making ethnic sculptures with delighted new artists.

Find other voluntary work services:

Podcast – Making a difference

Speak Up Kōrerotia logoChristchurch City Libraries blog hosts a series of regular podcasts from specialist human rights radio show Speak up – Kōrerotia. This show is created by Sally Carlton.

What motivates people to ‘make a difference’ – and what actually do we mean by the phrase?
Guests Billy O’Steen (University of Canterbury), Sarah Campagnolo (Volunteering Canterbury and Gap Filler), Teoti Jardine (Volunteering Canterbury and Avon-Otakaro Network) and Jason Pemberton (Student Volunteer Army and Social Enterprise World Forum) debate this fascinating – and somewhat elusive – question, drawing on their huge expertise in the volunteering sector.

  • Part I: Defining ‘making a difference’ – Is it the same as volunteering? Activism? etc.
  • Part II: How can we measure ‘making a difference’? What are the shortfalls of relying on statistics? Ethnicity and volunteering
  • Part III: Demographics and volunteering; guests’ key learnings; encouragement for people to being ‘making a difference’

 

Transcript – Making a difference

Find out more in our collection

Cover of Doing good...says who? Cover of Doing good better Cover of The most good you can do Cover of The promise of a pencil Cover of Social change any time everywhere Cover of Good work and no pay Cover of Volunteer: A traveller's guide to making a difference around the world Cover of The red bicycle Cover of The Unofficial Official Handbook of Good Deeds

More about Speak up – Kōrerotia

The show is also available on the following platforms:

National Volunteer Week 2017

Volunteering is a rewarding way to make a difference in your community. Here is some information from Volunteering New Zealand on National Volunteer Week 2017.

This year’s theme is:

Live, laugh, share — Volunteer
Kia ringa hora: Me mahi tūao

National Volunteer Week (NVW) 2017 will be held from 18 to 24 June. This positive message is about celebrating what volunteers bring to their communities. It is important to recognise volunteering and the place it has in  keeping our communities strong and healthy.

Volunteering New Zealand

Local voluntary organisations

Volunteering Canterbury
Supports and promotes the work of volunteers and voluntary organisations. Search volunteering opportunities and register online.
Student Volunteer Army
SVA was set up following the quakes of 2010 and 2011. Its focus is on encouraging young people to volunteer.
Gap Filler
Gap Filler creates activities in the vacant sites of our city and welcomes volunteers.
Places to volunteer
Search the libraries’ CINCH database for information about volunteering and voluntary organisations.

International organisations

Red Cross

The international Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is the world’s largest humanitarian movement. New Zealand Red Cross has a team of over 20,000 volunteers. Volunteer for Red Cross New Zealand.

Volunteer Service Abroad

Volunteer Service Abroad sends Kiwis to aid projects in different parts of the world. They offer long-term, short-term and youth volunteering opportunities in countries within the Pacific, Asia and Africa.

WWOOF (Willing Workers on Organic Farms)

Volunteer on organic farms with people who are looking for volunteer help. In return for volunteer help, WWOOF (Willing Workers on Organic Farms) hosts offer food, accommodation and opportunities to learn about organic lifestyles. Wwoof.org has a directory of WWOOF networks in different countries.

More information

  • Volunteering resources at your library.
  • givUS New Zealand funding information for voluntary organisations from hundreds of schemes.
  • giveME Search for awards, scholarships and grants for school, study, research or professional development.

International Volunteer Day is observed globally on 5 December.

National Volunteer Week 2016

Volunteering is a rewarding way to make a difference in your community. Here is some information from Volunteering New Zealand on National Volunteer Week 2016.

Facebookbanner

Each year New Zealand celebrates National Volunteer Week to recognise and celebrate the vital contribution of New Zealand’s approximately 1.2 million volunteers to social development, the economy and the environment. This year, National Volunteer Week will be celebrated between Sunday 19 and Saturday 25 June 2016 and focuses on time through the following two sayings:

  • Make time – Whai wha
  • Thanks for making time – Kia ora mo tau whai wha

Through this campaign, Volunteering New Zealand hopes volunteers will be recognised for making time for their communities

Volunteering New Zealand

Facebookbanner-texm-01

Local voluntary organisations

Volunteering Canterbury
Supports and promotes the work of volunteers and voluntary organisations. Search volunteering opportunities and register online.
Student Volunteer Army
SVA was set up following the quakes of 2010 and 2011. Its focus is on encouraging young people to volunteer.
Gap Filler
Gap Filler creates activities in the vacant sites of our city and welcomes volunteers.
Places to volunteer
Search the libraries’ CINCH database for information about volunteering and voluntary organisations.

International organisations

Red Cross

The international Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is the world’s largest humanitarian movement. New Zealand Red Cross has a team of over 20,000 volunteers. Volunteer for Red Cross New Zealand.

Volunteer Service Abroad

Volunteer Service Abroad sends Kiwis to aid projects in different parts of the world. They offer long-term, short-term and youth volunteering opportunities in countries within the Pacific, Asia and Africa.

WWOOF (Willing Workers on Organic Farms)

Volunteer on organic farms with people who are looking for volunteer help. In return for volunteer help, WWOOF (Willing Workers on Organic Farms) hosts offer food, accommodation and opportunities to learn about organic lifestyles. Wwoof.org has a directory of WWOOF networks in different countries.

More information

  • Volunteering and service group websites in our Internet Gateway.
  • Volunteering resources at your library.
  • givUS New Zealand funding information for voluntary organisations from hundreds of schemes.
  • giveME Search for awards, scholarships and grants for school, study, research or professional development.

International Volunteer Day is observed globally on 5 December.

To tree or not to tree – Arbor Day 5 June

Have you ever wondered what librarians do on their day off? Well sometimes, we like to go to bookshops. Crazy, I know, we’re around books at work every day – what do we want with books on our day off? I guess sometimes its nice to browse from the other side of the stacks — a bit like Hermione taking Muggle Studies to look at things from the wizarding point of view.

9781447273981So the other day, when Mr K and I went into town to look at the newly re-opened Bridge of Remembrance, I couldn’t resist popping into the new Scorpio Books. The first book that caught my eye was Tidy by Emily Gravett. The wonderful peek-a-boo cover lured my into the forest (just like the lamppost lures Lucy into Narnia) where I met a badger named Pete who likes everything neat. This is a delightfully funny story about what happens when neatness is taken to the extreme. I loved the expressions on the animals’ faces, and their growing panic as Pete’s desperate attempts to keep the forest tidy start to go horribly wrong. I also love the way Gravett subtly introduces a conservation message. It’s definitely one of my latest favourite picture books.

Cover of As An Oak Tree GrowsAnother latest favourite is As An Oak Tree Grows by G. Brian Karas. I took this one home to read to the Young Lad, because it’s by the same author as The Village Garage – which is one of his favourites – and he enjoyed it even more than I expected. This simple story starts with a young Native American boy planting an acorn, and continues on through the years as the tree grows and the world changes around it. The Young Lad really enjoyed the story, and was fascinated by the facts about oak trees in the back of the book. He also thoroughly enjoyed the activity sheet and poster, and especially enjoyed poring over the illustrations to see what he could find. No matter what I said to the contrary, he insisted that the tall ships in the harbour were pirate ships! Even when I pointed out that they had white sails, not black ones or red-and-white stripes like pirate ships should have, and that they didn’t have any Jolly Roger flags, he was quite sure they were pirates. Even so, the book prompted lots of discussion about history, types of transportation, and Progress, as well as trees.

After telling you about such tree-y additions to my Favourite Picture Books list, it seems only right to let you know about the Arbor Day events that are on this weekend.

Cover of The Trees and MeFor more information, read about Arbor Day on the CCC website.

As it happens, 5 June is World Environment Day as well as Arbor Day, so in honour of the occasion, I’ve put together a booklist of kids books about trees and the environment.

Maybe I’ll even join in myself and plant a tree on my day off!

There is a place for you to volunteer

June 21st-27th is National Volunteer Week. I would like to take the opportunity to say “Thank you” to all of you.

Thank you, Civil Defence, I don’t think I could have got through without you. Thank you, food parcel donors and packers, you have put meals on countless tables. Thank you, migrant support people, who have given their time freely to those who are living in a country far from home. Thank you, Student Volunteer Army, for cleaning up time and time again, then going overseas and doing it all again. Thank you, cooks and shelter workers, you have given a roof, a meal and a small amount of dignity to the homeless.

Greening The Rubble, Saturday 14 April  2012.  File reference: CCL-2012-04-16
Greening The Rubble, 14 April 2012. Flickr: CCL-2012-04-16

To Red Cross, Salvation Army  and all the other organisations that roll up their sleeves and get stuck in, you not only helped me and my neighbours, but you helped everyone who has asked for help. To the volunteer fire-fighters and life guards, thank you for rescuing us and keeping us safe.

Whether you have greened the rubble, run the Op-Shop, helped with reading, been on the end of a phone, donated blood or handed out the hymn books at church, thank you one and all, you have made the world a better place.

Have you ever considered becoming a volunteer? Regardless of whether you are young or old, it is a great way to meet new people, share skills and learn something new.

To become a volunteer:

Check out our photos of volunteering on our Flickr photostream

Are you struggling to come up with ideas for Random Acts of Kindness Day?

September 1st is Random Acts of Kindness Day. I must confess to having a certain cynicism about these type of days. Surely every day should be a day of random kindness, just like every day should be Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Children’s Day.

Cover of Random Acts of Kindness by AnimalsPerhaps I should try to be more randomly kind and hope that days like this highlight that there are always opportunities to do something nice for someone else, be they a friend or a complete stranger. Even animals are doing it!

So I had a look at some of the suggestions on the RAK page, and wondered how the Library could help out.

I could bake for friends, neighbours, workmates (maybe not  strangers – they might be a bit suspicious!).

Flowers from my garden. Hmm, I might have to work on that one for next year as my garden is not up to much, so some flower gardening books might be useful, or maybe paper flowers would suffice.

I could volunteer; our webpages have plenty of suggestions.

Maybe I could make somethinganything

Make someone laugh, try out some magic tricks!

Take the neighbour’s dog for a walk, perhaps do some training while I’m at it?

Hold a themed party. Sounds like a lot of work, but these party books might give me some ideas.

Reading a story to a child. Now this I can do! These two titles have been suggested by our children’s selector: Oi Frog and Tge Tiny King.

Whatever you do as a random act of kindness on this day, or any other, the Library is sure to be able to help you out.

Cover of The Tiny King Cover of The Cut Flower Patch Cover of 101 Dog Tricks Kids Edition Cover of Cardboard Creatures Cover of A Good Baking Day

Hurrah for volunteers!

Today is International Volunteer Day, which is an annual event dedicated to celebrating and recognising all types of volunteers around the world.

Volunteering is a wonderful way to experience new challenges, develop new skills and get involved in the community. Our web page provides all sorts of information about volunteering in and around Christchurch.

Volunteering in Canterbury came into the spotlight after the earthquakes when organisations such as the Student Volunteer Army, the Farmy Army and many others were involved in the massive clean-up effort. These contributions really showed how much can be achieved when people come together with a common purpose to benefit the community.

The volunteering spirit has endured post-quakes with initiatives like Greening the Rubble and Gap Filler, amongst others, actively using volunteers in the quest to fill empty sites before permanent redevelopment.

My own experiences of volunteering helped me to discover if the career path I wanted to go down was right for me. I wanted to get into the museum sector and was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to help out at my local museum. I was able to find out about this type of job in a very hands on way and meet people who could tell me more. This experience initially led to a part time job and helped me get onto a Museum Studies course.

So, whether you have a little time or a lot of time have think about volunteering as you never know where it will lead you – and if you know a volunteer say a big thank you to them today.

Say thank you, and pay it forward

Central Library : after the quakeStrangers from all over the world, volunteers, friends, family – what would we have done without them in the past weeks? And there’s no doubt that will we be needing their continued support in the weeks ahead.

The Star and nzherald.co.nz have come up with a nice initiative for people to express their thanks to all who have helped. They have set up a message board which allows people to post their messages online – these will then be published in The Star.

This has made me think of all the people who have helped me over the last fortnight, and especially the lovely Jenni and Sarah who “adopted” me for the first couple of hours after the quake when I was feeling lost and shell-shocked.   Thank you for your support, Jenni and Sarah – you made a horrible time bearable. And, notwithstanding the impression I may have given you that day, I really don’t usually swear!

So who would you like to thank?  We’d love you to hear from you.

And if you want to “pay it forward”, why not consider volunteering?

Here are some useful links: