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Posted 06 December 2014 - 01:59 PM

Consider making a small Donation to one of the three (3) very deserving charities listed below.
 
ACCforum.nz supports St John Ambulance, The Westpac Rescue Helicopter Appeal and The Salvation Army Food Bank.
 
St John and Westpac Rescue Helicopters provide 24/7 emergency services to anyone suffering injury.
 
 
St John
 
 
 
 
Westpac Rescue Helicopters
 
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The Salvation Army
 
Each week, more and more ACC claimants and WINZ Beneficiaries are calling on The Salvation Army for help because of rising food, electricity and petrol prices.
 
Many ACC Claimants and WINZ Beneficiaries are facing tremendous hardship and struggle even to put food on the table. 
 
When you donate money to the Salvation Army food bank you’re helping to provide one of life's most basic necessities to those who need it most.
 
 

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"If everybody is thinking alike, then somebody is not thinking." - Gen. George S. Patton Jr.


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Posted 18 December 2014 - 09:48 AM

http://www.stuff.co....ld-giving-index

Why NZ is fifth in the World Giving Index

KATIE KENNY

Last updated 15:09, December 17 2014

 

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New Zealand is ranked fifth in the world for giving, volunteering and helping strangers.

 

Cleaning animal cages, folding flyers, sewing costumes by fridgelight the morning before the school play: all these things people do for nothing, why?

 

When you think volunteers, you likely think of elderly retirees or résumé-hungry students. But often the ones who give the most are also the busiest. People aged in their 40s, usually with families and full-time jobs, are the country's biggest volunteers, according to the 2013 New Zealand Volunteering and Donating Indicators Report.

 

"A lot of the baby boomer generation are involved in education and sport through their families," Volunteering New Zealand chief executive Vanisa Dhiru says.

 

New Zealand is ranked fifth in the world for giving (up from eighth last year), according to the recently-published Charity Aid Foundation's World Giving Index. The Index ranks 135 nations around the world in categories of giving, volunteering, and helping strangers. Respondents were asked if they donated money, volunteered with an organisation, or helped a stranger in the past month, and the answers were averaged to determine a final score. Myanmar and the United States tied in first place, followed by Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, and Australia. "Oceania" was dubbed "by far the most generous continent".

 

PART OF OUR CULTURE

 

Volunteering is part of the Kiwi culture, Dhiru says. "New Zealanders are really well-connected, and when someone asks for a hand, people are willing to give their time."

 

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Ronald McDonald House chief executive Lesley Slicker says they could not do their work without volunteers.

 

A huge amount of voluntary work takes place in the sporting sector, with parents stepping in to support their children's teams. Another key area is faith-based -- churches, mosques, temples -- owing to a multi-cultural community.

"There's a lot of church volunteering particularly within the Samoan culture, for example - a lot of workshops, support groups - as well as organisations such as Saint Vincent de Paul," Dhiru says.

Statistics show almost 30 per cent of New Zealand's population (1.2 million people) do volunteer work. That's likely to be an underestimation, as some people, particularly among Maori and Pacific cultures, may not regard what they do as volunteer work. Others who do unpaid work on committees and boards might see it simply as part of citizenship.

By definition, voluntary work is work that's unpaid, for common good, and done of one's own free will. Without volunteers, many organisations, particularly those which care for society's most vulnerable, would cease to exist.

 

"WE COULD NOT DO WHAT WE DO WITHOUT VOLUNTEERS"

 

Home-away-from-home for families with hospitalised children, Wellington's Ronald McDonald House last year counted more than 14,500 volunteer hours.

 

"Our volunteers save us hundreds of thousands of dollars," chief executive Lesley Slieker says. "We could not do what we do without our volunteers. It's that simple."

 

The charity has nearly 200 volunteers on its roster (not counting street collectors and cooking teams), spanning a variety of ethnicities and ages. "We've got a wide range of people probably because we have a wide range of opportunities at the house.

 

"The family room is open seven days a week, 24/7, and is manned entirely by volunteers. We also have volunteers who are rostered to come in once a week, or once a month, to help with the running of the house. They make beds, answer phones, tidy the rooms, do the garden. We'd never ask a volunteer to do something we wouldn't do ourselves," she says.

 

"Our volunteers come to all our fundraising events, they help with set-up and pack-down, they drop stuff off and pick stuff up, they bring baking, they make meals, they have a huge impact on our whole organisation. We love them."

 

Most of the volunteers also have paid jobs. A few have previously used the service. One such family commutes two hours each way to do weekend night shifts at the house; it's their way of "giving back", Slieker says.

 

MORE PEOPLE VOLUNTEERING FOR SHORTER PERIODS OF TIME

 

Plunket's national community development manager Claire Rumble has noticed a trend of more people volunteering for shorter amounts of time.

 

"People think that volunteering is reducing, but it's just that people tend to volunteer differently now," she says. "They tend to want to do project stuff, something specific, maybe help raise money for a building, and once it's done, they move on. In the old days, they used to stay [with one organisation] for 20 or 30 years."

 

Excluding street collectors and one-off jobs, Plunket has about 2000 volunteers providing services throughout the country. Most are young mothers who have benefitted from Plunket and enjoy the social experience of volunteering. Others are retirees who take on a "mentoring" role, there are some young ones looking for experience, and people from the business world who hold board positions.

 

"It's hard to find people for those ongoing roles, but if you advertise and are clear about what the role involves, then it's not that difficult."

 

IT'S BECOME PART OF OUR HABIT

 

When Christchurch's Helen Mann was working full-time and also running a charitable trust (not to mention she has two children), she estimates she had about four hours' free time a week. "I've often given my time when I've got no spare time," she says.

 

Mann realised her schedule wasn't good for her health, and made some adjustments. But giving has always been part of her life. At high school she did volunteer work for a class of children with special needs, and with youth groups. About 20 years ago she started a small not-for-profit support group in the health sector, whose management she passed on five years ago.

 

Now, she volunteers in quake-damaged areas in Christchurch, and most weekends will lend a hand to neighbours and friends who need a boost. She does street appeals for Amnesty International, and makes regular donations to charities locally and overseas.

 

"It's just something I've got a heart for. It aligns with my value system, the notion that it's better to give than to receive," she says.

 

"We're comfortably off, and I don't have a great need for anything, but in terms of having a meaningful life I think giving is a big part of that. As we [her and her husband] have moved into our 40s and 50s we've felt investing in these communities seems the right thing to do. It's become part of our habit.

 

"People have different reasons for giving, and our motives, like most things in life, are mixed. It would be nice to say it's purely selfless, but it does give me a sense of purpose and I do enjoy it, when I've got the balance right.

 

"I'd like to think I'll leave the world a better place."

 

- Stuff.co.nz

 

http://www.stuff.co....ld-giving-index


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"If everybody is thinking alike, then somebody is not thinking." - Gen. George S. Patton Jr.