Together we can, through volunteering
Resilience, strength and compassion are just some of the qualities that Wesley Mission Queensland’s (WMQ) wonderful volunteers have. Today marks International Volunteer Day, an official date designated by the United Nations to say thank you and to recognise the importance of volunteers in our communities.
WMQ has over 2,000 volunteers that help make a difference in the community every day. One particularly interesting volunteer is Trevor and his friendly canine Nikka. Trevor and Nikka have only been volunteering for WMQ for just over a month. Already the pair have made ripples throughout the Sinnamon Village aged care community. Nikka is a giant schnauzer and although he may look intimidating, he’s a big softy at heart.
Trevor and Nikka travelled from Cambodia earlier this year. In Cambodia, Trevor was an advocate to put a stop to dog meat trade and would take Nikka to primary schools to educate the children on these beautiful animals. Trevor quickly learnt that Nikka was a natural with children, so when he came back to Australia he thought Nikka would be perfect with elderly people in aged care homes.
“Each week I volunteer at Nash Court [aged care community]. We love coming in and seeing peoples faces brighten when they see Nikka. It’s really special,” says Trevor.
“I will often go room to room, sit down and have a chat with a resident. It’s amazing some of the stories you hear, and you learn so much about the person’s life. It’s a great feeling volunteering, it’s great to give back and make a difference in someone’s life.”
Nicole Mujdrica, WMQ’s Volunteer Relations Manager, says the WMQ community recognises the dedication and contribution of our volunteers throughout the entire year, however, International Volunteer Day is special and a day to claim appreciation and humble thanks.
“Given the many challenges presented during the year by the pandemic, the show of solidarity we have seen by WMQ volunteers has been both heartening and inspiring. Our volunteers adapted quickly to the pandemic and were working under the required COVID-19 restrictions to support those in need within the community - many in frontline and supporting positions; others in a virtual capacity mentoring, educating, befriending or visiting our residents and customers online,” says Nicole.
“Our volunteers play such a prominent role in lifting the energy and spirits of our residents, customers, and workforce during these sometime difficult times. We can never thank them enough, nor quantify the impact they have on the people they volunteer with.”
The 2020 theme for International Volunteer Day is Together We Can Through Volunteering. A special thank you to all the volunteers out there, we couldn’t do it without you. To learn more about volunteering at WMQ, visit our webpage.