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volunteering Tag

Volunteer for an Inclusive Future

“The diverse and dynamic role of volunteerism in promoting the Sustainable Development Goals merits strong support from Governments and other stakeholders. On this International Day, I thank volunteers for their efforts to leave no one behind.” UN Secretary-General António Guterres

World’s Biggest Garage Sale wholeheartedly agree with the sentiment expressed by UN Secretary-General António Guterres. We fully support the pursuit of equality — including inclusion — through volunteerism, highlighting United Nations SDG 10, with the theme for #IVD2019 being “Volunteer for an inclusive future”.

Our recent venture ‘If The Shoe Fits’ in at the Brisbane Wintergarden simply would not have been possible without the generous support of volunteers who believe in our mission and give of their time freely in pursuit of a better world. We want to take time today to honour their contribution and to express our gratitude for their efforts.

Volunteering provides opportunities for people, particularly those often excluded/marginalised, to play a constructive role in their communities building confidence. We recently held a Queen of Shoes event to include the LGBTQ community of Brisbane and provide an inclusive space for them to shop for shoes. When asked about one of his favourite moments in-store, WBGS super volunteer Wassim, said:

“I had a great moment in the recent venture at If The Shoe Fits, where one of our amazing return customers came up to me and said “Thank you so much! I have never felt confident or safe to shop for shoes. Thank you for having this space.” I was in tears because it doesn’t take much to be kind and inclusive. This goes to show the heart and realness of what is being done here beyond the shoes, the money and the environment. It’s not a coincidence the logo is a Heart, it’s the core of all this business’ values.

We welcome everyone at World’s Biggest Garage Sale. Our company’s practices echo the thoughts of the United Nations who say “Through volunteerism, communities around the world often experience strengthened solidarity and inclusion”, and we welcome everyone at World’s Biggest Garage Sale events. Our inclusive community provides a role and safe space for everyone.

Why Volunteer?

  • Help the Environment: volunteering with WBGS absolutely helps to better your community and the environment through landfill diversion, creation of the #circulareconomy and raising much needed funds for causes.
  • Improve your Wellbeing: It also helps to better you as an individual. Volunteering is a free way to feel good about yourself and build confidence in skills outside of your normal work. The best part is that you get to share that positivity to fellow volunteers and develop new friendships and a sense of connectedness.
  • Reduce Stress: It’s a great way to reduce stress that may come from work or other relationships.
  • Build Hard & Soft Skills: You can build hard skills and experience in an area you would like to move into. And volunteer tasks will involve working with a diverse mix of people, giving you a chance to improve teamwork & communication skills, so you can gel better with others. You’ll inevitably run into various roadblocks at some point allowing you to hone your problem-solving and creative-thinking skills.
  • Fill-in Employment Gaps: If you’re in between gigs, a great way to stay engaged and proactive is to volunteer at WBGS. There are brilliant opportunities for networking and who knows, a volunteer stint with us could lead you to your next job!!

To all the volunteers out there, thank-you for your hard work, the laughs, the mucking-in, the solidarity and for making WBGS the special organisation that is. If you’d like to volunteer with us at Brisbane’s first circular economy Pop-up, we still have slots available at If The Shoe Fits and several events planned for 2020 — you can volunteer here! Have a fantastic International Volutneer’s Day and here’s to many more great events together in 2020!!

#volunteer4inclusion #IVD2019

Volunteering to Make a World of Difference

This week is National Volunteer Week 2019, and this year’s theme is ‘making a world of difference’. At WBGS volunteers are integral to our events and the social impact that is a direct result of our events.

WBGS Volunteers

From the very beginning, volunteers have been integral to the World’s Biggest Garage Sale. Some amazing connections, experiences and even marriages that have come from volunteering at our events! These volunteers, many who have come to help year after year, really have been ‘making a world of difference’.

Some of our international student volunteers from WBGS 2018

 The World’s Biggest Garage Sale Events are hosted, organised and run by volunteers from the local community. Our goal is to connect the community and activate them in sustainable consumption while raising funds for much needed causes. And the engine that drives the setup of events are the volunteers – real everyday heroes.

In QLD alone, volunteering is worth an estimated $11.6-billion to the economy, with 95% of volunteers reporting their volunteering activities are linked to feelings of positivity, happiness and increased well-being.

Benefits of Volunteering

So if you’re sitting there:

  • watching issues in the world or seeing problems that need to be addressed, or
  • maybe you want to learn something new and build some skills or
  • you’d like to meet some new people while engaged in a worthwhile activity

 

then volunteering for a cause that you care about can tick many of these boxes. Interestingly volunteering was associated with less work–life conflict, burnout and stress, and better positive mental health, according to a study from researchers at the University of Zurich. So if you’re pondering “Why would I give my time to something for free?” the rewards appear to outweigh the time invested.

Volunteering with another group outside of your normal activities, in tasks that you may not regularly perform, can offer perspective and variety, which can be rejuvenating. If it’s tied to a cause that you care about, the benefits will multiply.

Corporate Volunteering

The World’s Biggest Garage Sale time recently took part in Global Payments Inc. #DayOfService at their Brisbane HQ. We spent time cleaning the streets with the Brisbane City Council Litter Prevention group, who provided some wonderful education on changing habits to keep our city cleaner! And the Global Payments team are a great example of a corporation that integrates volunteering into their ethos.

The WBGS Team at Global Payments ‘Day of Service’

If you care about sustainable consumption and want to help raise funds for much needed causes, then volunteering at one of our World’s Biggest Garage Sale Events would be a great fit. We welcome anyone and everyone and can find a role or task that you would enjoy – from department manager, to catering, to driving a forklift!

It can be a great team building exercise for companies aswell. According to Romualdo Ramos, one of the authors of the University of Zurich study “It does seem to be the case that people who volunteer are in their paid work more engaged”. Seems counterintuitive but companies like Global Payments and CISCO have caught onto the value of volunteering.

Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter as we celebrate our own wonderful and valuable volunteers over the next week, who have helped make a world of difference!  

Volunteering for WBGS: Empowering individuals, corporations and the community

Volunteers are the backbone of WBGS — without them the show simply wouldn’t go on. Volunteering is a great way to feel more connected to your local community and to contribute something positive and meaningful outside of your normal week. It’s also a great way to help grow and support something new in your community — like the World’s Biggest Garage Sale and help people feel like they’re doing something to turn a problem around i.e. tackling waste.

Australia has a rich history of volunteering. Many iconic organisations that we know now and take for granted were started by a group of volunteers who saw a problem that needed to be addressed. For example Surf Life Saving Australia, the Endeavour Foundation, Clean Up Australia, and most recently Orange Sky.

The personal empowerment that comes from volunteering is immeasurable. Individuals can:

  • gain experience and new skills (especially when you’re studying, or formal work might be limited), bolstering confidence and leading to a sense of achievement and accomplishment;
  • socialize, meet new people and expand their network of contacts, which improves wellbeing;
  • help grow a worthwhile activity that is addressing a real-world problem and give back to the community and feel hopeful and empowered as a result.

Not only is volunteering great for an individual, it’s also great for companies. Instead of expensive Corporate Team Building exercises, organisations could consider Corporate Volunteering and work with a local not-for-profit or profit-for-purpose organization. Volunteering Australia highlights that Corporate Volunteering provides companies “with the opportunity to develop staff skills, build teams and bolster your reputation within your local community.”

                                              Mark Simpson, Performance Business Director of News Corp Qld

Some of our Corporate Partners who have volunteered time and effort are News Corp Australia and CISCO Qld. Mark Simpson, Performance Business Director of News Corp Qld stated, “it’s all about connection with community, that’s what we do, day in and day out with our content…talking to over 80% of Queenslanders every month, so what better way to connect with community than by working with the World’s Biggest Garage Sale”.

CISCO Qld are taking 50 people out of their office for a full day to help support the WBGS this year, and Michael Reid, State Manager said “by taking our staff out of the office for a whole day and giving back to the World’s Biggest Garage Sale, the impact that they feel walking away is incredible. It actually brings our team together, it’s a team building event for us, we make it a big celebration and we hope it makes an impact at the other end.”

So next time you’re sitting back worried about the growing waste problem in Australia and climate change, rather than feel frustrated, consider volunteering with WBGS. Because the truth is, your contribution really does matter and makes a big difference. In the words of Margaret Mead,

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.

Come and volunteer with WBGS. We are a fun, passionate and committed group wanting to grow the circular economy, reduce waste and help the environment by promoting sustainable living practices. There are several ways you can get involved, such as Department Manager where you can develop your leadership and management skills, Drivers, Caterers and Retail roles.

And last but not least, a big shout out to all our individual and corporate volunteers. Thank you so much for all your support, enthusiasm and hard work — we can’t do it without you!