Volunteers are the backbone of many community organisations – including the Launceston Benevolent Society.
On any working day a team of enthusiastic volunteers can be found at the King Meadows store, sorting through donations and offering a friendly face to visiting clients.
Bev Catlin has been volunteering for the organisation since 2011 and said her role was a privilege, as long as she was helping to make a positive difference.
“In a position like this, there are good times and then there are very bad times,” she said.
“The same can be said for most things, but here many of the people who visit are going through a hard time and they need our help.
“But if they leave the shop with a smile on their face it is worth it.”
Ms Catlin said she was aware of the positive work done by the Launceston Benevolent Society long before she started volunteering.
“In my job before I retired, we used to donate all of our old office furniture and equipment to the Benevolent Society,” she said.
“You can really see the difference it makes for people in the community and I wanted to be a part of that.”
The Launceston Benevolent Society is one of four charities The Examiner is supporting as part of the Winter Relief Appeal, with a fundraising goal of $60,000.
Now in its 60th year, in that time about $3.5 million has been distributed to the Benevolent Society, St Vincent de Paul’s, the Salvation Army and City Mission, all in Launceston.
Benevolent Society chief executive John Stuart said the organisation had always relied on the generosity of the community, with the strain of winter being felt now more than ever.
“Everything is costing more money,” he said.
“We have more and more people calling and saying – if you can’t see us today, my kids are going to starve.
“The money that we get from the Winter Relief goes a long way with all of the organisations,” he said.
“We are relying more on the community to get behind us, because it is vital part of meeting the demand.”