National Volunteer Week (NVW), which runs from 18 May to 24 May, is an annual celebration to acknowledge the generous contribution of our local volunteers and this year's theme is "Changing Communities. Changing Lives."
In the 2018/19 financial year, 1156 Cancer Council WA volunteers contributed 62,323 hours across all areas of our work. We're so incredibly thankful for all their support, we simply couldn't do what we do without them!
To celebrate our incredible volunteers and the huge role they play in helping us continue to support West Aussies affected by cancer we wanted to share the stories of some of our amazing volunteers.
Carine Leeflang with her grandchildren
For the past 70 years, Carine Leeflang has seen her fair share of friends and family diagnosed with cancer. So when the opportunity arose to become a Cancer Council WA volunteer, she immediately felt a strong sense of wanting to give back and has since recruited her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren to get involved.
Carine first volunteered her time in 2007 as an Armadale Shopping Centre site coordinator after seeing a Cancer Council WA volunteer advertisement and said it was the best decision she has made.
"So many people I know have been touched by cancer so to me it was a no-brainer to volunteer on Cancer Council WA's annual Daffodil Day to raise funds for those who need it most," Carine said.
"I've even recruited many family members as fellow Cancer Council WA volunteers over the years. It's an incredible thing to see four generations supporting such an important cause."
"Volunteering is one of the most rewarding things you will ever do and I am proud to call myself a Cancer Council WA volunteer. I know my family feel the same sense of satisfaction too."
Lesley has been a proud Cancer Council WA volunteer at Fiona Stanley hospital for more than four years and said it's one of the most rewarding experiences, with no two days ever being the same.
"I have been a Cancer Council volunteer since 2016 as a Support Person at Fiona Stanley Hospital. I spend my time with the most incredibly brave people who are receiving cancer treatment or attending doctor's appointments," Lesley said.
Lesley said her motivations to volunteer initially started as a way to give back to the local community, however after some time, she realised how much it was also positively impacting her life.
"I started volunteering to give back to the community, but the irony is that every day I leave the hospital I always think I have gained so much more than I could give."
"Helping others is always good for the soul and I strongly encourage others in our community to volunteer," she said.
Anne Urlich (left) with fellow Daffodil Day volunteer June (right)
For the past 37 years, Anne Urlich has been volunteering her time with Cancer Council WA as a Daffodil Day fundraiser.
Anne's connection to the cause started in 1983 when her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. Since then, her husband and many of her friends have been affected by the disease, which she said has been a constant reminder of the importance of giving back to others in the local community affected by cancer.
"To be on the receiving end of the services they provide just motivated me even more to do my part and help raise vital funds for some of the most vulnerable people in our community," Anne said.
Over the years, Anne has volunteered her time as a Daffodil Day Site Coordinator across a range of shopping centres including Morley, Noranda and Mirrabooka Shopping Centre and said she has made many lasting friendships and incredible memories.
"Not only is volunteering one of the most rewarding things I've ever done, it's also a great way to have a bit of fun and create some lasting friendships with likeminded people. I highly encourage others in the local community to volunteer if they get the opportunity."
Thank you to all our incredible volunteers, we couldn't be more appreciative of your kindness, compassion and willingness to support those affected by cancer, when they need it the most.
You can thank all volunteers around Australia by getting involved in Wave For Volunteers. Simply wave a special smile of appreciation from your own home and share your photo online, using #NVW2020 and #waveforvolunteers, and tagging Volunteering Australia.