Volunteering for Lifeline

The software company I work for, CA Technologies, believes that good community members make good employees. Putting their money where their mouth is, CA permits employees to take a few paid days off each year to volunteer.

Lifeline is a well-established and well-respected Australian charity that runs suicide prevention and crisis assistance contact services. They have been running for 50 years and take more than 400,000 calls every year from Australians who need help (and get as many online contacts). Like most non-profits they rely on community support for a significant part of their funding.


So last Friday CA permitted me to go help move hundreds of boxes of donated books for a massive book sale that’s taking place at the Hornsby RSL this weekend.

It was actually a lot of fun. I grew up on a farm doing day after day of physical labour. Friday was a refreshing change after so many years at a desk: to spend a day lifting heavy things onto a truck and then lifting them off again somewhere else.

I met a lot of other volunteers, almost all of whom were retirees. They were pleased to see a couple of younger guys to help out with some of the heavier and higher lifter. There was another Canadian immigrant, plus many who had visited there. I met a chemist. One of the long-time volunteers had rigged up sets of wooden rollers that made it easier to load the trucks; this reminded me of blueberry season back home.

I helped a guy turn on Google Now on his phone. I snacked on sweets that the ladies brought in. After all the boxes of books were in the hall we helped the ladies turn them the right way to allow crowds to browse the titles. It was a day very well spent.

Yesterday and today have been warm, sunny days. I hope Lifeline is getting a great crowd out to buy lots of books.


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