For many a day at the beach is a regular part of summer in Australia. But, for so many disadvantaged children, a day at the beach is a luxury that they don’t often get to experience.
Volunteer, Katerina Karamitsios recently contributed to a program in collaboration with year eleven and twelve students who raised money for Ardoch Youth Foundation. The money supported students in the local community to spend a day at the beach.
For Katerina, this simple act is just part of her long history of volunteering. As well as Ardoch Youth Foundations, Katerina also worked with a Tech Group project that brought the generational gap closer by having primary school students help the elderly in the community with any technological problems that they may have. This program allowed the young people to provide the opportunity to impart their experience in a modern day world with the maturing generation.
Katerina’s volunteering also included supporting a volunteering help desk, providing services to allow local members of the community to find volunteering opportunities within an area of interest or skill level that they would like to share with their community. During a typical day of volunteering, people would come to the local library and seek the support and advice from Katerina and her co-volunteers to find the most suitable role for them. The skills that were developed during this activity included communication with various people from diverse backgrounds, interview skills, empathy and many more soft skills people often do not think about. Volunteering provides many opportunities not only to increase your own sense of community but also in the development of personal skill sets that support you in other areas of your life.
Katerina also was able to contribute to critical administration work for a not for profit organisation with their governance requirements and provided support on the committee for a mentoring program that was being developed for at risk high school students. The skills Katerina provided to her volunteer role not only supported the functions of the organisation but provided her with support to complete a nationally recognised certificate to enable her to benefit in the long term in a career pathway.
Over a period of four months on the student-based projects Katerina volunteered 300 hours of her time and skills to support the desire for the young people to contribute to their local community. She travelled 420km over this period to provide mentoring and support to each of the projects
“The agency I was with were doing amazing things for the community, they were very involved and were making big changes to make life better for all those living there.”
At present Katerina is between volunteering roles due to family commitments but assured Volunteering Victoria.
“The main reason I would get back to volunteering is to make the community more connected. Volunteering is a great way to make new friends, give back and make life more beautiful”
Volunteers gift to the community
$10,467.00* dollar value of volunteering, $315.00 worth of petrol used.
Countless young and mature individuals mentored and supported
*hourly rate for volunteer was calculated using the Duncan Ironmonger Report 2016 projection