In December the crew from the Optus Social Media Team volunteered their time to help support some amazing charities with the great work they do. Here are a few of their stories, photos and a little bit about each charity. Make sure you check out their websites to learn more, donate or get involved!
Pets Haven Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation which re-homes orphan felines and canines who would otherwise have no future. They rescue these animals from death row pounds, cruelty cases, puppy farms and the community.
Marie from the team shares her experience:
We were greeted by the lovely owner and founder of Pets Haven Trish. She spent time with us to explain her passion and where the inspiration came to create such a great organisation.
She took us through some of the stories which we’re heartbreaking and at times disturbing, however her passion to give them new “forever homes” was the driving force to do what she does on a daily basis.
We spent some time getting to know the animals before jumping right in and taking a dog for a brisk 20 minute walk. During these walks it was easy to see that it won’t take long for these dogs to find new families to love them. They had such wonderful personalities and you soon had your favourites. We then sorted through the winter jackets which were all donated; we were amazed at the generosity of people! After a brief break we were back and getting to know the cats and enjoying a cuddle before taking some photos.
In the time we were there 5 dogs and 3 cats were picked out by their new families, as sad as we were to see them go we were filled with excitement at the new journey they had ahead of them.
Avalon is run entirely by Volunteers and survives solely on donations and grants. Their aim is to help people who have slipped through the cracks, including the homeless, people with mental health problems and disabilities, the elderly, refugees and anyone who requires support.
The Social Media guys got to spend time getting gifts wrapped and ready in time for Christmas but Avalon also have a variety of programmes including the Homeless and Clothes Distribution Support Programme that provides clothing, bedding and shoes to those who are disadvantaged.
Had an awesome day with the crew organising and wrapping Christmas presents for those in need. My highlight of the day was just being there in general and helping out!
The Smith Family is a children’s charity focused on education. Their belief is supporting a child’s education is the best way to help break the cycle of disadvantage. Last year over 124,000 children and their families received support through Smith Family programs, and their student2student reading program helped 95% of kids improve their reading age!
Giving disadvantaged children and young people the support and resources they need to achieve their full potential will have a lasting effect on those The Smith Family have supported, and this will have a lasting effect for generations to come.
Marcel shares his experience:
Volunteering for the Smith Family Christmas appeal was a fantastic experience. It was great to be a part of a dedicated team that share the same passion and willingness to contribute to the community. This opportunity opened my eyes on how people can come together for a common cause and make such a great difference in lives of strangers they haven’t met before.
It was absolutely amazing to see so many people come and donate gifts and toys up until the last minute! Packing the toys and assigning names to each gift bag gave me a strong sense of contribution. This experience highlighted how small things have a big impact on peoples lives. Definitely something I would recommend doing as such as experience has changed the way I see things and made me more appreciative of the smaller joys in life.