Volunteer Stories

Jasons’ Story

Inspiration can come from anywhere, and in Jason Waugh’s case it came from the television program, Secret Millionaire.  Through illustrating the importance of social issues and the virtues of volunteerism within society, Secret Millionaire touched and motivated Jason to give more to his community.  “Even though I didn’t have the resources of the millionaires at my disposal, I still felt that I could contribute in seeking to better the lives of others.”

Working as an interviewer for food relief with UnitingCare Geelong, Jason assists and guides people through hardships that they are experiencing.  “To see the expression on people’s faces when you help them positively, fills me with a sense of pride”, said Jason.

Not only has Jason provided support to others, but he has found a career path and a passion that was unexpected.  As a manager of a retail outlet, Jason found his career to be uninspiring and unrewarding which affected his personal life.  “I didn’t enjoy my job, but when I started volunteering with UnitingCare Geelong, I discovered a passion for work in the welfare sector.”  This has led to Jason undertaking a Diploma of Community Welfare at the Gordon Institute to further his education and enhance the opportunities of employment.  “I wouldn’t miss a day of this; it has enriched my life and made me determined in fulfilling my personal goals.”

Jason is still volunteering with UnitingCare Geelong to ensure that people are given the best chance of support.  He is excited about the next step in his professional career and is proud of the example he has set for his 5 children.  “My personal improvement has helped my personal life, and I hope that my guidance in helping others has improved their quality of life.  I found my inspiration through volunteering; let’s hope others can as well.

Acknowledgement: the story above was written for Volunteering Geelong with permission from Jason Waugh

Jennys’ Story

I’m a volunteer at UnitingCare Geelong and I have been working at Balliang Street one day a week. My volunteer position at Balliang Street is in Clothing. I also assist in the Ormond Road Op Shop one afternoon a month.

I enjoy being aware that the clients are facing difficulties, then seeing the joy when we are able to assist with some of their needs.

I have worked on different days and I find the overwhelming encouragement and friendship is like being part of a big happy family. Each day the teams are so supportive.

I have found that some of my gifts/talents are able to be used as there are so many different needs, I also enjoy the challenges that come now and then. The special forums and workshop days I find very helpful and informative. Also I like hearing about other volunteers’ experiences. I am grateful to feel I can be of use.

Freds’ Story

I am a volunteer at UnitingCare Geelong and I have been working at South Geelong for 17 years. My volunteer position is mainly in food, collecting bread and oranges and also courier jobs. Half of my working life was in Public Relations, meeting people. This I can do at UnitingCare Geelong.

I like being part of a team because I can learn from my workmates as I hear of their experiences, satisfactions and sometimes of their cares. We are a non-judgemental organisation, in the comfort of our sheltered lives. We can learn of the trials and hardships of those less fortunate than we are.

Grandmas’ Story

One of our volunteer’s 10yr old grandaughter did a little project about her grandmother and this is what she had to say:

My nanna is a spiritual person because she is kind, loving and has got self control.
She is joyful and giving because she does lots of community work helping poor people.