December 5th marks a very special day in the Orange Sky calendar – it’s International Volunteer Day. It’s an opportunity to celebrate our remarkable team of volunteers and the work they do each day to positively connect communities across Australia and New Zealand through washing, showers and most importantly, genuine, non-judgmental conversations. 

Each week, teams of volunteers gather in communities across Australia to provide a safe, welcoming and reliable space for our friends doing it tough. In these times of financial uncertainty, our remarkable volunteers are needed now more than ever before. One such Volunteer is Yvonne, who reflects first hand on this need, and explains how important it is to ease the load for our friends doing it tough. 

Delassa (Gemai’s Mum) and Yvonne (Orange Sky Volunteer)

“My name’s Yvonne and I’m a Team Leader at Orange Sky. We are a really busy shift with about five people who are volunteers that assist with the laundry on a Monday. None of the little houses have any laundry facilities at all so we are a really highly desirable service for the area. I have an appreciation of the situations some of our friends find themselves in, where they don’t even have six dollars to go over to the laundromat to wash their clothes. The $6 that they saved by doing their laundry with us at Orange Sky meant that they ate lunch that day.”

Gemai is one of those women, who as Yvonne explains, lives right next to where they park the van. 

“Gemai has a number of children, two of whom are autistic which places a lot of extra demands on her time and money. Gemai knows we’re here, she accesses us on a weekly basis and she’s the most pleasant, polite, engaging lady that you could get. Her Mum [Delassa] also lives in the complex too, she’s just a delightful lady, we really enjoy engaging with her and providing a service for her.

We’re making their lives a little bit easier by doing what I think is a fairly small thing, but to them is something really huge. I don’t think we should underestimate that, I think it’s a great thing that we do to help them”. 

With the rising costs of living affecting so many communities across Australia, it’s more important than ever for volunteers like Yvonne to be there to help #EaseTheLoad. 

Learn more about volunteering at Orange Sky

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