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Comment: Where Would We Be?

For our end of year function, at Father and Child Auckland, we hosted a barbeque.

This meant buying a few sausages and steaks, salad vegetables and bread.

Luckily Charlie and Harry turned up early, so they got to make the salads, plus it was handy that Linda, honorary benefactor, shouted a big bag of hot chips, our burner was a bit slow!

This made me realise how grateful we are to all the fathers and many other supporters who helped us in 2008.

It was a funny old year, a bit like the ’70’s oil crisis, or the ’87 crash, only worse? Like the end of the eighties, when government fiscal values seemed to switch from ‘controlled equality’ to ‘each for themselves’ then people only looked out for their own family. Our first real estate boom started, we rushed to the cities and all became a bit more isolated.

Naturally, one of the first things to suffer was community volunteering and soon after, a slow, drop off in community spirit. Cities like Christchurch seem to maintain a good level, certainly at Father and Child Trust, as many smaller farming towns still probably co-exist, by mucking in at times.

So luckily also for us, we are finding keen Auckland Dads who care enough to make time, to help others. We appreciate them helping at shows, contributing to our magazines, attending events, sharing their expertise and working behind the scenes.

We are not the only group attracting volunteers, but we are grateful, as for our funding. We see other support groups, plus I know about all the sports coaching and managing, cultural groups, dance and activities that totally rely on volunteers.

Whether motivated by their own hard times, witnessing someone else’s experience or to fulfil their generous spirit, the passion and energy that these volunteers generate, hopefully makes it worth all their whiles.

Without these gaps and cogs being filled and greased, how would our community gears keep turning?

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