Monday, 10 May 2021
For Ellen Lew, the most satisfying thing about volunteering with CBM is seeing how her work contributes to positive outcomes for people with disabilities living in some of the poorest parts of the world.
“Miracles Day, in particular, shows me what an impact CBM has on so many people, both as donors and as recipients of the [cataract] surgeries,” says Ellen, who has volunteered with the organization for 15 years.
“I also enjoy helping with catering for functions like Miracles Day and the CMAA Christian Radio CEO’s conference.”
National Volunteer Week (NVW) runs from May 17 to 23, and is an opportunity for CBM to acknowledge the generous contribution made by its volunteers. On average, around 70 volunteers support CBM in any given year. This number has remained stable even throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced staff and volunteers to adapt the way they worked.
CBM’s volunteers come from a diverse range of backgrounds and bring a unique variety of life experiences and skills. Some volunteers hear about the organisation’s work through family and friends, others are current or former donors, some are school or tertiary students and others are retirees.
Swornima, who has volunteered with CBM for almost two years, came to discover the organisation’s work through her tertiary studies and her understanding that people with disabilities “are often marginalized and their needs are often not met in development and humanitarian programs,” she says.
“This motivated and inspired me to be a part of an organization like CBM to learn how they are working to empower people with disabilities.”
Volunteers support CBM in a range of ways, including helping the front office and administration teams and assisting on major fundraising events such as Miracles Day.
While the tasks they perform may vary, CBM’s volunteers all agree that the welcoming and inclusive work environment is one of the things they appreciate most about their work.
Josie, who has volunteered with CBM for five years, cites the friendly staff and atmosphere as her favourite things about her role.
“Volunteer coordinators Elizabeth and Sue are amazing and supportive, I always have a nice time chatting to them,” she says.
The success of CBM’s volunteer program is shown through the longevity of some of its longest-serving volunteers, like Anne Verwoert, who has worked at the Kew and Box Hill offices for more than 25 years. Anne has dedicated thousands of hours of her time to CBM’s day-to-day operations and the ongoing success of Miracles Day.
Her tenure, and that of other long-standing volunteers, was celebrated at a Volunteer Christmas event last year.
Do you have the time, ability and enthusiasm to support us and our cause? Learn more about becoming a volunteer with CBM, and express your interest in getting involved, here: https://www.cbm.org.au/get-involved/volunteer/
(Pictured: CBM Volunteer Ellen)