The debt we all owe to volunteers

VOLUNTEERS are the lifeblood of our community, and it is good to see the organisations they work for get some support from the NSW State Government.

Yesterday 26 North Coast community groups shared in more than $1 million in grants through the Area Assistance Scheme.

Some of these volunteers work five days a week saving the Government and our

community hundreds of millions of dollars every year because of their hard work and dedication.

If the Government had to pay for this type of assistance it would be bankrupt.

While volunteer Mrs Shirley Smith, from the Uniting Care-Casino Transport, said volunteering keeps her out of trouble, I would suggest it keeps our governments out of trouble as well.

We would not be able to pay the salaries of people doing volunteer work, and many organisations and community care centres would fall over.

This would affect us all as the disabled, the disenfranchised, the elderly and the physically and mentally challenged would be unable to get the care they need.

Mrs Smith's story is similar to so many other volunteers: Working five days and using her own car to transport those in need, including the elderly, the mentally ill, and even underprivileged children.

We should be grateful to all our volunteer groups for their work in our communities.



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