Jade Malone helping an older woman

Does anyone at the Brotherhood ever think or even know what volunteering for the organisation does for the volunteers themselves?

Whilst altruism is an accepted reason, there are in fact quite a few more. 

Let me tell you about me. I had been away from the work-force for a few years – had tidied every drawer in the house, cleaned out all the cupboards, done more than my fair share of child minding with great grandchildren and was bored out of my brain. I was feeling useless, unwanted, not capable and very aware of my age.

So I decided to become a volunteer. After quite a pleasant interview with Greg Simpson, who recognised I had the same love of books as he, a police check and the filling out of some forms, I very nervously arrived in the Book-room on 26th February 2012.

Two-and-a-half years later I find my confidence in my ability has returned, my self-esteem has grown, and I have a sense of purpose about myself. In chattering to some of the elderly people who live in my building, they tell me the same thing. Volunteering, whilst it is altruistic in that we all like to help, it gives you a sense of purpose, a reason to get out of bed. You are treated with respect, your skills are appreciated, your age doesn’t matter, you get to use your brain and it gives you some social interaction. You no longer feel isolated, you slowly get back your sense of value and worth.

My input in the Book-room has grown, I have a speciality working in the Rare and Collectibles area. Instead of working four hours, twice a week, I now work about 12 hours and am able to do further work at home. I work with a great group of people and I absolutely love what I do. I am very lucky.

I now have a sense of fulfilment again. And the best part: every book I put on the website that sells supports the Brotherhood in assisting others who have much less than I do.  I am proud of that.

Are you interested in volunteering with us? View our current volunteer opportunities, or contact our Volunteer Services Team on (03) 9483 1390.

The Brotherhood of St Laurence (BSL) acknowledges and understands its obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and recognises that all children and young people have the right to be treated with respect and care, and to be safe from all forms of abuse. BSL has a zero tolerance towards child abuse. Read the official statement signed by the Executive Director.

Find out more about the work of the Brotherhood
Brotherhood Books
Brotherhood of St Laurence Communtiy Stores
Hippy Australia
Given the Chance

The Brotherhood of St Laurence acknowledges and recognises the Traditional Owners of the land upon which we live and work, and we pay our respects to their Elders both past and present.