National Volunteer Week 2021 is an important and timely opportunity to celebrate and thank our incredible team of volunteers for the vital role they play at Jesuit Refugee Service Australia (JRS).
Never has this been more evident than after a year where we dealt with a global pandemic and unprecedented challenges to our service, drastically altering the way we work.
While most of Sydney stayed home to stay safe, our volunteer team continued to deliver essential services to those most in need. Volunteers assisted with reception, packed parcels of food, drove and delivered food all over Sydney, collected generous donations of food from groups of supporters, connected our clients to much needed assistance, created social media content, and assisted on research projects.
As two thirds of Australia’s volunteer workforce stopped working, over 300 new volunteers joined our team – more than triple the number of volunteers engaged prior to the pandemic.
We also want to acknowledge our long serving volunteers who have had to pause their service in the last year. Only 23 of our long term volunteers were able to continue assisting JRS after the rest of the team were forced to step back due to Covid-19 restrictions.
We know they are with us in spirit and we appreciate their support from afar – and can’t wait for them to be back in person!
The incredible work of our volunteer team ensured that nearly 1000 people received food every week since April 2020. It is not an overstatement to say there is no way we could have done it without our volunteers. But numbers only tell half the story – they don’t capture the commitment, generosity and positivity that our volunteers bring to JRS.
Not only are our volunteers the backbone of our organisation, but they are also an absolute joy to work with, and they make our team and our community stronger.
Find out how you can volunteer with JRS Australia here.