Saturday, August 20, 2011

Volunteering Time

Today, I was called into the Logan Art Gallery on a last minute phone call from one of the staff members.  It was early, I had put on my second load of laundry, was making breakfast and the phone rang when I was asked to do the favour.  Of course, I said yes.  
Being a volunteer, to me, means that I can put off the last load of laundry until tomorrow.  The washing up I did last night was well-thought out and will still be here for me to put away when I return from my shift.  It means I'll give my little bird a cuddle before I leave and then, when I get home turn on the radio and let her talk to the music as it plays.  
However, I have found that there's a lot of people out there who don't want to be volunteers.  Their usual retort is:  "What do I get out of it?  How much do I get paid, I mean?" Well, nothing.  At the Gallery, each Christmas, you get taken away for the day to the coast, or inland to lunch by bus where you can have fun and enjoy yourself.  It's a great day out for everyone - usually on a Sunday - and you receive a present as a thank you for the year.  It's a way of also getting to know all your other volunteers you don't see during the year.
I love taking my Mum with me.  We've been to Caloundra, Redland Bay, Tweed Heads, Ipswich, Toowoomba, Beenleigh Historical Village, GoMA (we were the first organised group to go there when it opened).  And the lunches weren't anything to be sneezed at either... just wonderful food that's served up.  I always take my camera to record my time I have had with my friends of the Gallery.  It's a lot of fun.  We return to the Logan Art Gallery in the late afternoon still full from lunch, with our gifts in hand, anything we've bought during the day and tired and sleepy from the day out.  
Chris Trotter's work at the Gold Coast Art Gallery. Nov 2010
Part of the Sculpture Walk at the Gold Coast Art Gallery. Nov 2010
Part of the Sculpture Walk - made of flip-flops! Nov 2010
Buffet Lunch at Jupiter's Casino - all we could eat! :D
Receiving my Christmas gift!
 Otherwise, during the year, when you're a volunteer, you get to meet a lot of people who appreciate what you do in your spare time.  Being a volunteer gives you life experiences you'd never achieve in a workplace.  You learn how to talk to all different types of people from artists, school teachers, children, parents and the elderly.  And even if you only volunteer for a few years, it will go a long way on your job applications.
I have been a volunteer for the Logan Art Gallery for 12 years this year; and I have loved it.  I have seen this gallery change from a place of mediocre art pieces to some brilliant works by famous artists; as well as meeting some great collectors and having the honour of meeting some of the biggest art suppliers in the world.  It has been a great experience all up; and I have great memories of memorable openings (however, I don't attend them as much anymore; unless something really catches my eye.  I'm not a big crowd person as they make me feel very claustrophobic).
So, why not volunteer?  It may well, change your way of looking at life.  It doesn't matter where you volunteer your time - be it Life Line, Red Cross, Salvation Army, RSPCA or any other great volunteer organisation - it will be the best thing you'll ever do in your life.  Until my next post, take care, stay safe and warm and remember, I'm always here. 

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