A little over a year ago, Cindy found herself with extra time on her hands and decided to make the most of it by giving back to her local community in Ballarat.
“I was looking to support an organisation that matched my interests and values,” she says.
“The opportunity to volunteer with Uniting Ballarat Emergency Relief Centre (ERC) seemed a perfect fit.”
A year later, she has not looked back.
“Our ERC provides practical, immediate financial and material assistance to a diverse range of people facing financial hardship.
It is a warm, welcoming environment, and part of the wider network of services Uniting offers to the people of Ballarat and surrounds.”
Cindy loves that her role is so varied.
“No two days are the same. I assist with tasks like the reception of visitors, initial eligibility assessments and data entry.
“I also guide clients through the process of choosing food and personal items from our fabulous mini-market style pantry, and of course unpacking goods and keeping our shelves stocked and the centre tidy.”
While Cindy set out on her volunteering journey with the aim of helping others, she has been constantly surprised at just how much she has gained personally.
“Being part of a highly dedicated and compassionate team working together to make a difference is so very rewarding.
“Seeing how some practical assistance, a welcoming smile, a friendly word, can ease the burden for those doing it tough is extraordinary and humbling, and helps me appreciate all that I have that much more.”
“Seeing the way each customer is treated with respect, listened to and heard makes me a better person in my everyday life.”