A passion for helping others

Published

May 14, 2021

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Marg draws inspiration from the people she meets while volunteering.

The 75-year-old has been volunteering with Uniting’s emergency relief service in Wodonga for 7 years.

Prior to that, she worked with the organisation as a pastoral care counsellor for 7 years.

Marg also volunteers with Lifeline.

“I’ve met a lot of interesting people over the years at Uniting,” says Marg.

“Many have been dealt a tough hand in life and live with physical and mental challenges.

“But they cope. They are so strong. And they often have remarkable resilience.”

Marg and the team in Wodonga provide practical support to people in their time of need.

From food to funds for medication – Marg says it all helps.

But she understands that reaching out to Uniting for practical support often means there are other challenges at play.

“Often we are able to talk to people about their needs and they are a lot more complex than just needing food,” she says.

“We provide referrals to housing and mental health agencies.”

Marg recalls one man who reached out for support with food.

“He had come in a few times and I discovered he was experiencing homelessness,” says Marg.

“One day he walked in with his head in his hands.

“He said he hasn’t been able to have his son stay with him because he was living in a tent.

“And he was struggling with his mental health.

“We were able to give him food, refer him to a local housing provider and encourage him to call Lifeline to talk about his troubles.”

Marg says he was very grateful and hasn’t been back to the service since, after finding the support he needed.

“I like to think we’re giving people more than food, we’re also giving them hope in their time of need.

“I feel like I’m being useful and giving back to my community in a small way.

“Whenever you volunteer, it’s a 2-way street. You give but you get back as much as you give.”

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