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26 June, 2021

Volunteers make big difference

WHILE volunteering can make a difference and lead to new skills, a Mackay local said he loves meeting new people.

St Vincent De Paul Society Mackay regional president Frank Gilbert

St Vincent De Paul Society Mackay regional president Frank Gilbert said it was the people he meets which really inspires him.

But he also learns a lot about himself as well.

His 30-plus years of volunteering have made him realise that “everyone has something to offer”.

Mr Gilbert said that last Monday they had 15 volunteers help distribute groceries to some of Mackay’s most vulnerable residents.

He said the Family Support Centre is open Mon - day, Thursday and Friday from 9am to 11.30am.

“We give them grocery cards, groceries, some - times we provide them a fuel voucher, we pay their pharmaceutical things,” Mr Gilbert said.

“We also have people who go out ... to deliver some groceries.”

Currently, the society is looking for more volunteers to continue to help make a difference to Mack - ay’s homeless or at risk people.

“As a voluntary organisation, we depend on volunteers.When you have volunteers, you can’t necessarily expect them to work regular hours,” Mr Gilbert said.

“Some of our people are retired, so they go away for part of the year. It’s a hard thing to manage.

“So the more volunteers the more successful we can be, but I don’t think people quite realise the extent of what we do in Mackay.”

He said the many op shops and warehouses they run in Mackay help generate their income.

“We’re always looking for volunteers to work in the store and at the warehouse,” he said.

“We got two stores actually – by people donating goods to us, clothing and so on ... by selling that, some of which we do give away, that generates in - come to support our other activities.”

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