A couple of years ago volunteering was something Kelly D’Mello meant to get around to doing but never quite did. Joining the AUT Edge Award changed all that – part of the requirement is to do 50 hours of volunteering!
And very quickly Kelly was hooked on the satisfaction she gained from volunteering. By the end of the Award, she had done 65 hours volunteering for organisations such as Ronald McDonald House Charities, Cancer Society, SPCA and Carols on the Beach. But her biggest commitment was to Elizabeth Knox Home and Hospital where she continues to volunteer.
“I really love my volunteering at Elizabeth Knox. I love how the simple act of giving up just two hours a week makes a difference in the lives of residents to the point when they look forward to your arrival every week. I have continued to volunteer at Knox where I was also recently asked to be Team Leader, so I'm really excited about what that role will involve.”
Her ongoing commitment to volunteering made Kelly the stand out choice for the SEEK Volunteering Prize, offered for the first time through the AUT Edge Award.
Kelly says her volunteering experience taught her there are many ways to fulfil her quest to help make the world a better place and she is now thinking of looking for a job in environmental science in a not-for-profit organisation.
“My volunteering experiences have taught me that grades aren’t everything and that I need to make time to do the things that make me happy.”
Janet Faulding, General Manager of SEEK NZ who sponsored the volunteering prize, says SEEK’s research has found that 90% of all employers will employ someone with volunteering over someone who has not done volunteering.
“When employers are presented with CVs with exactly the same qualifications, your point of difference is your volunteering.”
The AUT Edge Award is an easy way to start building up this point of difference.
Volunteering Expo coming up
If you’re keen to start volunteering but are not sure who to approach, then come along to our Volunteering Expo on Tuesday 14 August in WG 306 and the foyer. This expo is part of Employability Matters and has so far attracted 25 charities and not-for- profit organisations looking for student volunteers.
These include Coastguard NZ, Mercy Hospice, Heart Foundation, Shakti Community Council, StarJam, Surf Lifesaving Northern Region, Engineers without Borders and many more.
Come and hear about all the volunteering possibilities - there really is something for everyone.