3081 Angels – our amazing army of local volunteers
3081 Angels is a volunteer run, partnership between Banyule Community Health and Rosanna Baptist Church, which collects quality, preloved baby and children’s goods to give to families in need in West Heidelberg and the surrounding suburbs. Goods are donated by other families in the local area and repurposed. Banyule Community Health CEO Mick Geary describes the 3081 Angels volunteers as “community heroes”. “Their work is often unseen and unheralded. It’s the type of volunteering that empowers families to get a fair start. They are our community heroes.”
The two way benefits of volunteering is really visible with the 3081 Angels. Long-time volunteer Helen says “I come every Friday and I enjoy the fellowship and the friendship of the team we’ve created. It’s great to help people that need support at this time in their lives. Volunteering is such a great way to enhance your own life, it gives you direction yourself. You don’t do it for monetary value, you do it because you love people, you like the community spirit and you get rewarded yourself at the end of the day.”
The 3081 Angels model has also found roles for people with a range of skills. John is the local jack of all trades, but his impact is immense. “I’ve always liked fixing things and this gives me an opportunity to do that and to know that things that come in are sent out fixed to the right standard. I love mixing with the people, it’s a lovely group of volunteers and I’ve made some really good friends here and it’s just so gratifying to know that people benefit from the time we spend working on their behalf.”
Lyn sees the impact of her volunteering changing the community and changing lives. “I volunteer because I love it. I like helping people. It’s fun, there’s a lot of laughs, jokes, we’ve got great friendship and (what we’re doing) is worthwhile. I only wish I could do more but there aren’t enough days in the week”
Even in the COVID-19 times, the 3081 Angels are finding a way to ensure essential support is provided to those in need.