Shining a light on our incredible SunnyKids volunteers.
Mandy Woodall is a dedicated SunnyKids volunteer, having been with us for over three years. When she’s not sinking her teeth into various projects in the Business Development team, you’ll catch her helping at events and around the office.
“I basically fit in wherever there is a need. The tasks have been hugely varied from admin and event support to packing boxes and furniture removal. For the past 18 months I’ve worked with the Business Development team managing our fundraising and CRM platform, coordinating our P100 memberships and assisting with event planning and fundraising campaigns,” says Mandy.
Many of our volunteers have a passion for helping others, in particular children. Working with SunnyKids means they get to play a key role in helping create meaningful change in our community. Our volunteers really do become our biggest advocates.
“I’m aware that not every child enjoys the right to grow up in a harmonious loving environment. The community has a huge role to play in supporting and mentoring these children. SunnyKids belief that it takes a village to provide the right environment for a child to thrive, resonated with me and I felt there was a whole lot I could do to support that,” she says.
We’re extremely grateful for our volunteers and their continued support of SunnyKids. Without these incredible humans, who give up their time, energy and money to help us, we would simply not be able to do all the vital work we are doing. They keep important work tasks moving, they get out and about in the community to collect donations, they take on new tasks with enthusiasm and commitment. They truly are amazing.
Like many of our volunteers, Mandy has always given back to her community, it’s in her blood. “I have volunteered in some capacity for the past 18 years. Many years in schools and with children, but I also volunteered in communities overseas when I wasn’t eligible for paid employment. I have always treated volunteering as if I would a paid job,” says Mandy.
When a new volunteer joins our team, the space can be overwhelming. There is always a lot happening in the office, there’s a distinct pace, but even still you can’t go past the overarching sense of compassion. “It has been a highlight for me watching the personal and professional development of our younger support workers. Their passion, commitment and professionalism under the weight of what they experience daily, is so inspiring,” she says.
The nature of our work and the environment that we’re in results in us all continually learning about ourselves and others. Domestic and family violence is a topic that’s in the news almost every day, but there’s still so much that needs to be done to help educate our children and families about healthy relationships. “As a volunteer with SunnyKids I’ve learnt so much, but one thing that’s really stayed with me is that it can be difficult to recognise and/or challenge domestic violence when it’s happening to you or someone you love. It’s important we talk about it and to not be ashamed to reach out.”
“As a volunteer I’ve learnt that most organisations are grateful for any kind of help they can get, but sometimes they don’t know how best to use a volunteer’s particular skills. So go and get your Blue Card, check your ego at the door and turn up expecting to do the unexpected. You will learn new skills! And if you are doing it for recognition then you’re doing it for the wrong reasons,” says Mandy.
We know that becoming a volunteer is a big commitment and that it requires a level of flexibility. The benefit is, you get to work with a bunch of passionate people who genuinely care and we’ll endeavor to make your experience with SunnyKids a truly meaningful and impactful one.