Have you ever considered looking for volunteer opportunities but can’t find the time? Perhaps the long-term commitment scares you away. There’s a solution for this and it’s called Micro-volunteering.
Micro-volunteering is bite-size volunteering done in a short and convenient time, on your own terms. This new approach appeals to many because of its minimum formality and the way it delivers fast results.
Volunteers are an incredibly valuable part of our community. Find out how to make a difference as a micro-volunteer or as a traditional volunteer in Port Macquarie.
What is Micro-volunteering?
We’d all like to help others but for those of us with families, jobs and bills to pay, the idea of responding to volunteer opportunities isn’t always realistic.
Micro-volunteering relies on the idea that people are more likely to lend a hand if their attention is only required for a few minutes at a time. Those who wish to micro-volunteer select the tasks they want to help with. They often complete them any time and on their own terms.
As shared by The Guardian, “Microvolunteering could involve anything from signing a petition or retweeting a message to taking part in a flash mob or counting birds in your garden. The only requirements are that volunteers don’t need to go through an application or training process, the tasks take only minutes to complete, and it doesn’t require any ongoing commitment.”
While a lot of micro-volunteering takes place online, supporting your local community in this way could mean taking care of a small patch of public land or walking a dog at your local shelter.
As The Guardian also shares, micro-volunteering gives people who wouldn’t or couldn’t traditionally volunteer the opportunity to do so. One example, Galaxy Zoo, asked volunteers to study photographs of space. As a result of unpaid public support, 53 scientific papers were published.
The more people who get involved with micro-volunteering, the more the community benefits. And the more people get involved, the smaller tasks become.
As the saying goes, ‘Many hands make light work’.
April is an excellent time to get involved in micro-volunteering, with world Micro-volunteering Day held on the 15th. From writing a short letter to someone who lives apart from family to tagging internet photos to help the visually impaired, people from all over the world can get involved.
Why become a Micro-volunteer
When you take part in micro-volunteering, you’ll make a difference to large charities, the local communities and even the entire world as a whole.
With micro-volunteering, your contribution won’t take up a lot of time. For example, you could register as a volunteer to keep track of wildlife in your local area. Noting sightings of amphibian, bird or other animals via an app helps local conservation authorities get a better understanding of the ecosystem. They use the data you collect to find the right ways to support endangered or threatened species.
Also on a local level, consider being a micro-volunteer at your nearest aged-care home. Dropping in for just a half-hour cup of tea with a resident who doesn’t have family close by makes a world of difference to their quality of life.
Those behind micro-volunteering promise it won’t require more than 30 mins of your time, at a time. While we are all busy, there are few of us who can’t spare half an hour to help a worthy cause.
Doing so will give you the satisfaction of knowing you have contributed to society. Often, micro-volunteer projects are tracked online so you see the impact of your actions in real time.
When you sign up as a micro-volunteer, you don’t always have to make a long-term commitment. Where traditional volunteering tends to require things like police checks, training and a complicated onboarding process, micro-volunteers sign up and get started almost immediately.
As a micro-volunteer, you really can contribute as much or as little as you like. Even if you only help out one time, you are making a difference.
Volunteer opportunities in Port Macquarie
If you’re interested in getting involved as a micro-volunteer or in volunteering in more traditional ways, there are plenty of opportunities in Port Macquarie.
A number of community organisations need the help of volunteers, even for small amounts of time. These are a few examples:
Coastal Warriors Mid North Coast is a volunteer-based organisation located in Port Macquarie. This group aims to prevent plastics and other harmful objects from entering the ocean, harming marine life and damaging ecosystems.
This organisation hosts regular cleanup events around Port Macquarie’s local beaches and parklands. To get involved, simply show up to an event and sign up. The next scheduled cleanup is on May 4th at Town Beach. Visit the website to find out more at https://www.coastalwarriorsmnc.org.au/upcoming-events
Coastal Warriors is a great volunteer opportunity for families to get involved with, as you don’t have to commit an entire day. By taking part, you will help your children understand the importance of putting their rubbish in the right place. They will also start to form a habit of picking up any rubbish they see near the coastline.
Spray painted walls are an irritating problem faced by most communities and the mess has a habit of coming back after being removed. Graffiti Blasters volunteers tackle illegal graffiti on public property in known hotspots using specialist equipment and a vehicle provided by Port Macquarie Council.
Volunteers receive comprehensive training and ongoing support and select shifts to combat the growing issue of graffiti. Shifts are available from 9 am to 12 pm or 1 pm to 4 pm Monday to Friday.
According to the council’s website, volunteers are needed so get in touch if you have:
- A keen interest in working outdoors and working with people from diverse cultures and backgrounds;
- Good communication skills and a friendly, helpful manner;
- An understanding of safe work practices; and
- The ability to use chemicals and garden tools
Visit Port Macquarie Council’s website to find out more: https://www.pmhc.nsw.gov.au/Community-Culture/Volunteering-and-Associations/Volunteering
As shared by The Glasshouse in Port Macquarie, volunteers are “the lifeblood” of the gallery. Lending your time promises to bring self-worth, great fun and friendships.
“Volunteering may be an outlet for your natural talents, a road-test for your new career, or simply a handy way to meet new friends.”
Contact the Glasshouse to find out more about volunteering opportunities or pop into the Gallery and pick up a form to find out more. You’ll find the website here: https://www.glasshouse.org.au/Regional-Gallery/Volunteering.
Located in Port Macquarie, the Koala Hospital has a volunteer program for local residents only. Two hundred volunteers work directly with koalas who are being cared for here.
To give your time to the Koala Hospital, you do need to have a tetanus injection first. You also have to be over the age of 17, unless you come to the facility through an educational facility.
Expect to take part in training, as you will work with live animals at the Koala Hospital.
Passionate about sports? There are plenty of sports clubs which need a hand in Port Macquarie.
Port Macquarie Basketball Association
The Port Macquarie basketball association welcomes kids and adults from the local community. Competitions are held on Mondays and Wednesdays, and development academies on Thursdays. To find out how to help, visit http://websites.sportstg.com/assoc_page.cgi?c=1-9049-0-0-0
Hastings Cricket Association
The Hastings River District Cricket Association has a long history and is now the umbrella organisation for several locally-based cricket clubs.
Contact the club to see how to get involved as a player or volunteer http://hastings.nsw.cricket.com.au/
Some more clubs to check out include:
Port Macquarie Croquet Club
Saints Netball Club
Port Macquarie Rugby Union
Port Macquarie Tennis Club
Get in touch to find out how to help one of these organisations.
Local Social Network Groups
Volunteering to help your community, even in a small capacity, adds so much to the difference made by small organisations.
In Port Macquarie, volunteer opportunities include the following:
Our local Rotary Club is very active in supporting various programs. This includes helping youth and people with disabilities. Over the years, the Rotary club has been responsible for:
- The building of the pavilion at McInherney Park
- Construction of the original headquarters for the Port Macquarie Sea Rescue
- The establishment of the Kooloonbung Creek Walkway
- Assisting with the formation of a local branch of Sailability
- Joining with the other local Rotary Clubs to erect Lifeguard Towers on each of the five major beaches in the area.
The Port Macquarie Rotary Club takes part in fundraising and other projects. The club meets every Tuesday night at 6 pm for 6.30 pm at The Westport Club.
Visit the website to get in touch and find out more: http://rotarypmwest.org.au/
Your local Probus Club welcomes retirees who want to get more out of life.
Probus provides seniors with “the opportunity to join together in clubs and to progress healthy minds and active bodies through social interaction and activities”.
Discover volunteer opportunities through Probus by visiting the website:
Port Macquarie Council
The council has many projects and organisations which require the short-term participation of volunteers. This includes local developments, the youth advisory council and the library.
One project, Cultural Companions, creates a local network of people interested in arts and culture. This aims to enhance the social experiences of isolated individuals through small groups who meet together to attend events across the local cultural and arts scene.
Visit the council website to find out about other volunteer opportunities https://www.pmhc.nsw.gov.au/Community-Culture/Volunteering-and-Associations.
Volunteer from home
Even if you can’t get off the couch, you can volunteer. As an example, Be My Eyes is an app which lets you lend your eyes to blind people in real time. Use video chat to read expiry dates or instructions to a vision impaired person anywhere in the world.
Zooniverse lets you participate in research projects from home. This could include anything from classifying galaxies to counting penguins to transcribing manuscripts. A recent project on Zooniverse asks volunteers to transcribe handwritten documents by Shakespeare’s contemporaries to help understand his life and times. Along the way, volunteers will find words that are not recorded in the authoritative Oxford English Dictionary. These will eventually be added to this important resource.
Another project, Chimp&See, will suit animal lovers. Cameras have captured thousands of hours of chimpanzees in the wild and volunteers now help scientists study and learn about these creatures.
If you’re an active person, check out Charity Miles. This app lets you turn a neighborhood jog or weekend hike into a fundraiser for good. Just choose a charity and get moving. The app tracks your movement and for every mile you log, you help to earn money for your chosen charity. The funds are donated by sponsors who repurpose portions of their advertising budgets. The money is paid to charities in proportion to the miles done for each. So far, Charity Miles has earned over $2.5 million for good causes around the world.
Westport Club: supporting volunteer organisations and the local community
Port Macquarie’s Westport Club has a strong commitment to supporting the community and has proudly contributed over $2.2 million in Mid North Coast community grants to local charities, sporting groups and organisations over the past ten years.
The Westport Club’s Vision is ‘to make a significant contribution to the quality of community life’.
We are always interested in partnering with organisations in the Port Macquarie-Hastings region who share our vision through their work in supporting the local community. If you have a project you feel shares this vision and fits the criteria for ClubGRANTS, contact the club today.