Kathy volunteers to show kids in need that others care

One person really can make a difference. And last year, 8,323 individuals had a huge impact as Smith Family volunteers. Kathy was one of them. She began donating to help disadvantaged students as soon as she finished uni. So when she retired, Kathy started giving her free time and talents as well. That was almost 10 years ago and Kathy can’t believe the transformations she’s seen.

“I’m a volunteer Project Coordinator in Victoria. I'm looking after our Reconciliation Action Plan, which aims to support more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students through [The Smith Family’s] educational programs. It gives me a great deal of satisfaction that I can see in Victoria we have really moved forward ... [and] we are supporting more Aboriginal students.”

kathy-volunteer

If we can help them [children] to become educated then it gives them a chance to just be the best people they possibly can be

Kathy, Smith Family volunteer

Kathy had a successful corporate career, but before starting work she grew up with her parents in regional areas where everyone pitched in to help each other. That sense of community and equity has always been important to Kathy.

“Nobody chooses their parents or the circumstances of their birth and I think sometimes people just need a bit of a hand. If we can help them to become educated then it gives them a chance to just be the best people they possibly can be,” said Kathy.

“I had the pleasure of attending a Smith Family Graduation Ceremony, which was just incredible. When you see these young people stand up there, you think, ‘Wow, this is the outcome of the dollars and the time and the hard work.’ I’m incredibly proud when I can see the kids with their smiley faces.

“Something else that made a strong impression on me was going to the Learning Club in my area. Just the wave of sound as the kids came running from their primary school across to the Learning Club. They're just so happy to be there and meet their tutors.”

“I think that whole connection of community members, such as mentors with students, really shows students that there are people within society who are looking out for and supporting others. I can't imagine The Smith Family as an organisation without volunteers.”

 

Thank you to all of our volunteers. Last year, the estimated value of their efforts was $11.9 million worth of time. This means so many more students can benefit.

If you’d like to volunteer, find out about the opportunities in your area.

I can't imagine The Smith Family as an organisation without volunteers.

Kathy, Smith Family volunteer