Volunteering Makes Me Happy

It’s National Volunteer Week and this year is the first time in over 18 years that I have not been involved with volunteering or organising something for volunteers. Last year doesn’t count because I was in Spain.

You know me, I can427740_550783328282897_1194873830_n‘t just sit on my hands, so when I saw the appeal go out for help, I stuck up my hand – or more accurately I filled in the online box.

We are in the age of technology after all and it was all just  a matter of type. Click. Upload my Working with Children card. Press submit – so easy!

So where am I volunteering? This is something different for me – it’s the Starlight Foundation Ball tomorrow night at the Convention Centre. Instead of being a guest, I’ll be helping out by donating my time as a helper for a very worthy cause to raise much needed funds to benefit Territory kids.

I’m lucky I never had to go through the anxiety of a sick child in hospital, but for those who do, it’s nice to know the Starlight Foundation is there to help make things a little easier.

It’s always a personal pleasure to give my time to worthy causes – I enjoy volunteering and meeting new people. It’s usually hard work, but also lots of fun and best of all, I almost always learn something! I’m sure tomorrow will be no different.

As I sign off, I just want to say how grateful I am to have worked with so many fabulous volunteers over the years. Many of my great friendships have been made as a result of volunteering.  Volunteers are the life blood of this country. 

Love to hear how other people choose to volunteer – there are so many worthy causes in the world.



It’s National Volunteers Week here in Australia so I’d like to take a moment to give a public thank you & SHOUT OUT to all the fabulous volunteers around Australia.

Fabulous Volunteers
Maureen & Daryl Manzie, Michelle Hanton, Marco Montenuovo and partner Lara Riva, Peter & Helen Hazelman

People volunteer because they have a passion and last night I was able to attend the NT Volunteer of the Year Awards with our 2 fabulous nominees (Marco & Peter) and their partners.

Partners and family play a pivotal role in allowing an individual to be able to volunteer – so thanks also to all of them.

At Lifeline, where I am currently working, we could not exist without the selflessness and generosity of our volunteers who sort in the shop, drive the truck, answer the 13 11 14 crisis support calls and take on so many other roles.

I have had the pleasure of meeting and working with many volunteers during the course of my career to date. Oxfam, St John Ambulance Brigade, NT Breast Cancer Voice, National Breast Cancer Foundation, Dragons Abreast, Dragon Boat Northern Territory, AusDBF, Melaleuca Refugee Centre and Lifeline are the main ones to date.  I have learnt so much by working with these amazing people.

Individuals do not volunteer expecting recognition but it’s always nice to be able to say ‘thank you’ in a public way and National Volunteers week is a great opportunity to do so.

Volunteers everywhere – I salute you!


Making a difference – by Michelle Hanton

When I talk to people about the work that Lifeline does, people often say ‘I would really like to help, but I really don’t see what I can do that would make a difference’.  It is true that when we look at the big picture of how much there is to do in the field of crisis support and suicide prevention it is very easy to become overwhelmed and think “I cannot possibly make a difference.”


However, when we chunk things into smaller pieces and everyone plays a small part it soon adds up to make a huge difference.  For instance it is volunteers who provide as little as 2 hours a month to help with the shop, answer calls on the 13 11 14  crisis line, collect and sort through donations, cut up rags for sale  and help plan events that keep us functioning. Collectively those few hours have an enormous impact on our suicide prevention and crisis support services.

Right now Lifeline Top End is in desperate need of financial help to be able to meet the ever increasing demands on our face to face counselling service.  Very few clients are in a position to pay,  so naturally the service is provided at no cost for the vast majority.

I got to thinking that maybe,  just maybe, each of our LIKERS might consider a donation of $5. Collectively we would raise sufficient funds to allow us to increase our counselling services by one extra day a week.

A $5 donation is no more than a single cup of coffee that is quickly forgotten whereas $5 donated to Lifeline helps save lives – a life is priceless!

Lifeline’s service crosses all boundaries so if you are in a position to make a donation, no matter how small (or large) it would be most appreciated.

I’m not backward in coming forward to asking for your support because the worst thing that can happen is you will ignore me but the best thing is you might decide to get on board – and that would be wonderful!

It all starts with the individual – so, if you are in a position to make a donation, volunteer, hold an event or support Lifeline in another way I would love to hear from you and/or click here to donate-  receipt (tax deductible) is also issued at the same time.