Several of us dedicate some of our spare time to volunteer for a cause that we care about, whether that’s helping the elderly, cleaning up litter or working on community garden projects.
There are so many different ways we can volunteer our time to help others and protect our environment. (Personally I volunteered for a long time at a hospital radio station, where we use to go around the wards and talk to patients and get their favourite music requests. Now I go litter picking in my local area, to prevent rubbish getting into the river!)
Which causes do you care about? Do you volunteer locally?
Looking forward to hearing from you.
I love being a volunteer and help look after one of New Zealand’s rarest birds for the Department of Conservation. Our critically endangered Fairy Tern (pop 35) with education to the public, nest monitoring and trapping of nasty predators .
Love being out on our spit and of course pick up any plastic as I go.
Also put my hand up at times to plant trees and attack noxious weeds. You see such wonderful results afterwards with more flora and fauna coming into the area that’s the reward ;)
Have a great day.
I didn't know you were interested in rare birds Ria, this is wonderful to hear. Out of interest are there any birds which were endangered in your part of the world and they have become less so, or visa versa?
It's great to hear you are a litter picker too. :)
@Lizzie At one stage back in the eighties we only had five Black Robins left with just one fertile female (Old Blue) . All Black Robins are now descended from her I think the pop is around 350.
Sadly our flightless birds don’t stand a chance against the predators without predator proof islands or Ecosanctuaries like Zealandia In Wellington. Probably one of my most favorite places to visit;)
Volunteering gives a great deal of satisfaction - I volunteer for charities that assist people with accessibility and mobility issues:
Guide dogs for the blind - assisting sight impaired people to build their confidence and independence by undertaking MyGuide activities (helping with getting out and about in the community)
Hearing dogs for the deaf - assisting this great charity to train clever dogs to offer assistance to hearing impaired people by alerting them to sounds (the doorbell - an alarm - a family member who wants their attention etc.)
Cinnamon Trust - Helping mobility constrained people who would otherwise have to give up their dog as they cannot exercise it.
Though the recipients of this volunteering get something out of it - I feel that I get even more in return.
One must be mindful that the person you stop and say Hello & vice versa may be the only person they share a conversation with for their outing.
I've had many wonderful conversations that way & meet some amazing people
Aww @Helen427, you are such an angel. :)
I bet you have made many a person's day by doing this.
Do you have any popular topics of conversation? Here in the UK, I know this might come as a bit of a surprise, but I tend to have a lot of conversations about the weather...
My most fun one is coming up, @Lizzie ! I get to scout for mud puppy (look them up!) habitat for a joint University of Guelph and Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry project.
It involves a canoe and a handheld GPS navigator and a camera. Also wet feet and bug repellent.
Best volunteer job ever, though! I got it by inserting myself into a mussel quadrant study last year, that is also the best volunteer job ever.
Unfortunately, Harry, who is always my canoe partner, is still healing up, and my neighbours and friends see me coming with this stuff. No worries. I will catch one of them at a weak moment and they will find themselves in a canoe, slapping mosquitoes, and face-to-face with mud puppies...
Lovely to hear from you, I hope things are going ok and Harry is feeling a little stronger.
Wow, I've just looked up what a mud puppy is, they are impressive. The first photo I saw looked like it had a funky red scarf on and then I realised that was part of it (are they gills?)!
What wonderful creatures. What are you going to be doing? Spotting to see how many you can find? Are they common, do they need protection?
Fascinating. Lawrene, you always have such interesting stories. :)
@Stephanie and @Lizzie , you will regret you asked. I could go on and on, but will (try to...) keep it short. These are common mudpuppies, and not at risk in the Sydenham River, but one of the indicators of the health of the waterway. Thanks to our non-touristy remoteness, we are a corridor where endangered species and species at risk, mostly reptiles, do tend to thrive.
Thus we are a target for Ministry and university studies and projects. A mudpuppy study is part of a bigger project, and all I need to do on my end is identify mudpuppy habitat.
One of the agreements I have made with the conservation authority, in order to keep the treehouse going and make tourism a partner rather than a destroyer, is to provide education to our guests.
Don't worry! They don't get a lecture -- unless they ask, of course :)
What they do get are the publications the authority puts out, so that when they are relaxing in the hammock they can read all about the spiny softshell turtles, foxsnakes and mudpuppies around them, and why they are cool.
@Lizzie I help educate parents on the importance of vaccination. I am pretty passionate about this topic since I have seen too many children suffering because of this new trend amongst people who don't vaccinate them. And every parent who at least reconsiders it is like a personal victory for me :) But now the laws are changing too, it is becoming mandatory, I just hope they do it in time so that kids who can't get a vaccine for number of reasons are protected by us.
This sounds so valuable @Ana1136. I know it differs across the world, but there always seem to be quite a lot of confusion on whether to have certain vaccinations or not, so it's amazing that you are helping to address this.
Have you done this for long?
@Lizzie I have started when I was 4th year in med school so a few years now. There is lot of confusion and controversy on this subject but it is mainly from fake news and fabricated researches all over the internet. People tend to get offended when you tell them what is the more appropriate for their kids. They feel as it is a personal attack on their parenting style so we have to be very careful on how we word each sentence. In the end they all want what is best for their family, I can understand if they are hesitant when making the decision but I do this for the kids who have no choice, they can't get vaccinated and they have the right to go on with their lives normally depending on us vaccinated people to protect them. It is our responsibility, they rely on us :)