I know of at least three local not-for-profit organisations run very successfully solely by volunteers with absolutely no paid staff. The first, of course, is The Bulletin, now in its 41st year and which relies on advertisers to cover our printing costs. Another is the Eastern Emergency Relief Network (see article on p.6). The other is Youth Education Support Inc. YES Inc.’s goal is to support young people who fall out of the education system for lack of financial resources and essential emotional support needed. They do this with income derived from donations and the YES Op Shop at 53 Mahoneys Road Forest Hill, which opened its doors in December 2009. YES Inc.’s Co-founder Julia Mosley says: “Because YES Inc. has such an amazing team of volunteers it has not had to rely on any paid staff. This means that 100% of all donations are used directly to support young people in need”.
Of the hundreds of young people assisted, below are three examples. The local Case Worker involved, ‘Anne’, has provided these case study extracts.
Case Study 1:
“We have a family in debt with rent arrears and other bills due to loss of income during Covid. The parents are working with me to get rent arrears and debts under control. Their daughter, Bella, 19, is studying Child Care. I have arranged for her fees to be paid by another service but they are unable to fund a laptop required for her to complete her studies. Bella would be extremely grateful if YES Inc. could purchase a laptop for her, thus enabling her to complete her studies.”
Case study 2:
“Belinda, a single mum, and her son have been experiencing family violence. Recently the police attended the home due to another family violence incident. The police removed the ex-partner from the property and a protective order was placed to ensure their safety. Belinda has now found out that she is in $10 000 debt from her ex-partner using the bills money for drugs. I am supporting Belinda with her debts and organising a payment plan which she can manage. Belinda wants to continue studying her Diploma in Nursing but does not have the required laptop (her ex-partner smashed it and her phone during a domestic violence incident earlier this year). I realise that this is ‘out of the box’, but I am unable to get funding for Belinda for either a laptop or phone through any other service. Thank you for your consideration.”
Case Study 3:
“Liz was recently admitted to hospital following a suicide attempt. She is now under the care of her GP and is attending counselling. Her mother is caring for her children until she is well enough to do so. I am working with Liz to save her current private rental. This year Liz’s 14-year-old son starts Year 9. I am requesting a laptop for Riley to assist him with his schooling.”
In the above three cases, YES Inc. provided a new laptop for each student. In other cases, they have provided textbooks, Maths and English tutoring, stationery, Myki travel cards. They have also sponsored full- or part-time training courses, such as nursing and IT, to assist with gaining employment in their chosen professions. Perhaps you’d like to assist these young people in need through YES Inc. by volunteering some of your time. There are many activities available (I know, I volunteer there). ‘Out the back’: sorting books, clothing, kitchenware, toys, and much more; ‘In the shop’: serving on the counter, creating attractive displays for the windows, shelving, etc. ‘In the office’: general administration duties; assisting with programs for young people, and so much more.
Volunteers enjoy their special day at YES catching up with other volunteers and having a cuppa in the kitchen on their breaks. There are also ‘specialty’ volunteers – experts in watch and clock repairs; jewellery; silverware; books; antiques; handcrafts, etc. Not a volunteer, but a true friend of YES Inc. is Steve of Stev-Computer (see ad p.14). Steve has provided IT assistance for printers, computers and other electrical equipment. Have you an expertise you’d like to share? “You’d be very welcome”, says Julia.
Please call Julia at YES Inc. to have a chat about volunteering opportunities. Phone 0430 546 467