National Volunteers Week (May 16-23) is not just about acknowledging volunteers have value, but celebrating them.
That's the view of the team at Merimbula Visitor Information Centre, which is planning a community party next Wednesday, May 18, 11am-1pm, in the town square.
Everyone is invited to join the MVIC team for refreshments and to celebrate the efforts of volunteers, not just those in the info centre but right across the region.
"We're not the only organisation to use lots of volunteers," tourism officer Sandy Glass said.
"But we're looking to help coordinate efforts throughout the community to spearhead the use of volunteers."
Mr Glass said that may eventually take the form of an expo type event where individuals and organisations can learn more about where volunteers are needed and the value they bring to the region.
Merimbula Tourism manager Chris Nicholls said volunteers were "a phenomenal gift to the Valley".
He said while quantifying volunteers did not give the full picture of their value, it's considered volunteers provide around $42 worth of value per hour to an organisation.
At MVIC, there are 70 volunteer hours a week, 52 weeks a year. That equates to more than $152,000.
"That's a phenomenal gift to the Valley. That's a gift they give all of us, not just the visitor information centre."
Both Mr Nicholls and Mr Glass said Wednesday's celebration as part of National Volunteers Week was not just an observation that we have volunteers and the value of them, but to celebrate them and what they do for our shire.
"We really need to look after them and never take them for granted," Mr Nicholls said.
The Merimbula Visitor Information Centre has around 20 active volunteers on its books, but is on the lookout for more so be sure to express your interest when celebrating with them on Wednesday.
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