A local volunteer has given the Tatiara some great information on the benefits of her role and the importance of the work.
Volunteering is an activity which takes place through not-for-profit and community organisations and projects or your local community and is undertaken.
Jo Edwards is a well known member of community and has taken on some important roles that have made a huge impact on non-for profit organizations in the Tatiara.
Jo has been doing regular shifts at Meals on Wheels for over five years and for the last two years she has been a volunteer driver for the Red Cross.
Brought up in Coonawarra on a cattle turn vineyard property, Jo moved to Wolseley in 1988 and now with husband Jamie they run a sheep and cropping property and a popular on-farm Bed and Breakfast, Dunalan.
The Edwards have three children that have kept Jo busy in their upbringing,and despite this she has made time for the worthy organisations.
“I like to help others in need and give back to the community and it gets me off the farm, I enjoy people,” she said.
Volunteering offers vital help to people in need, worthwhile causes, and the community, but the benefits can be even greater for the volunteer.
Volunteering can also provide renewed creativity, motivation, and vision that can carry over into professional life and although volunteer work is highly attractive on a resume, Jo said that was not why she did it.
“I love that you are helping others and meeting new people or getting better acquainted with some you may already know and it makes you feel good when you feel useful,” said Jo.
Just because volunteer work is unpaid does not mean the skills you learn are basic and many volunteering opportunities provide extensive training.
“To be a Red Cross driver you have to have a driving test, which was good to refresh and know that you are a safe driver and regularly do a first aid course which is always good to have,” said Jo.
There are many roles that a volunteer can take on and even helping out with the smallest tasks can make a real difference to the lives of people, animals, and organizations in need.
“There's something special about being able to help another human being. Both people benefit,” Jo said.
The key is to find a volunteer position that you would enjoy and are capable of doing. It’s also important to make sure that your commitment matches the organization’s needs.
For Jo, she said that red cross driving was good because it fit in with her schedule.
“If you have extra spare time you can do more and if you can't they find another driver, it all depends on demand for the service.”