20 May, 2024

This week is National Volunteer Week and here at ADRA, we have over 2,000 reasons to celebrate! Throughout the week, we are going to profile ADRA volunteers who generously give of their time and talents. Without our volunteers, our National Programs would not be possible.

Don, ADRA Pakenham

Don volunteering with ADRA in Pakenham

Don’s journey with ADRA started in 2007 when he responded to the Newcastle floods. “(It was) two weeks after putting up my hand in church to get some training in disaster relief,” Don says. “Training was done on the job!” Don did such an impressive job with the response that the NSW Government presented him with a medallion to express their appreciation.

Now, Don is volunteering his time with ADRA in Pakenham on the ADRA bus. The ADRA bus offers fresh produce and support services, such as social work, to people in need.

“I can’t change the world, but I can change someone’s world,” Don says.

ADRA is blessed with more than 2,000 volunteers like Don who are the heart and soul of our Australian projects. We are so thankful for the time and talents each volunteer gives to serve their community!

Bernie, ADRA Bairnsdale

Bernie is the volunteer manager for ADRA Bairnsdale and she has been volunteering with ADRA for over 15 years!

Bernie is the volunteer manager at ADRA Bairnsdale

Bernie began volunteering with ADRA when she could no longer work due to a growth around the heart, lungs, and pulmonary artery that is inoperable.

“Seventh-day Adventist friends of mine, Heather and John, suggested that I come to ADRA and help by doing some computer work,” Bernie says. “‘Some computer work’ led to also selling furniture, helping out in the food relief area, delivering furniture in the truck, and delivering food parcels on a Monday morning.”

Bernie has helped her community through some tough times, including the black summer fires, droughts, and floods.

“I feel honoured to assist those struggling,” she says. “I have been able to help children receive toys and games that they lost in the fires. To see their faces light up has been an uplifting and unique experience.

“Volunteering at ADRA means that after all the help I have received with my illness, I am able to give something back to the community I live in. I love volunteering for ADRA as it gives me a sense of purpose.”

Thank you Bernie for your years of service and your heart for others.