Time to reflect: why did you chose to volunteer?

By Fr. Joe Antony OMI

When I spend time with our Rosies volunteers I like to ask them “Why did you choose to be a volunteer?”  Many people refer to the age-old adage, “Doing good is its own reward”. Others state the main reason they volunteer is because it makes them feel good -they speak of giving back for all the blessings they’ve been given in life. Others volunteer because they are able to and want to help those less fortunate. Others speak of paying it forward, doing good things so that if they are in need, someone might help them. Others still told me that they just wanted people to know that there are others who care about them.

Fr. Joe celebrates Rosies Ipswich Branch’s 10th birthday with volunteers and friends on the street. Pictured with CEO Jayne Shallcross and local Branch Coordinator Barry Rienecker.

While I appreciate their genuine responses, Rosies volunteer remind me of the words of Gandhiji (the Father of Indian nation) who said “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” There are many wonderful things that will never be done if we do not do them, and being a Rosies volunteer is one such example. Having come from a different cultural background and at times when I’ve found myself in a state of despair with a new culture, Rosies ministry has helped me gain sound knowledge and experience of relevant issues, helped me perfect my skills in working as a team, gain confidence in becoming more of extravert and offered me the opportunity of working with talented professionals and maintain relationships and making new friends.

Secondly, most of us have a desire to belong somewhere. Rarely does anybody want to be alone. Irrespective of our life circumstances, being part of a community is something that makes our experience richer. Rosies is a community that desires to create a place where anyone can belong, and everyone is welcome. When people walk into our community, I see that they can come, just as they are.

Thank you for making Rosies a welcoming place for all patrons and volunteers alike.