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Volunteering has been in Kevin’s blood for many years, going back to his time at school. He has always loved helping others. Driven by the satisfaction of doing something for others, Kevin returns to volunteering time and again.
“Often you don’t get much kudos, there’s often no glory in volunteering because you do unseen things in the background, but it’s the feeling you get from doing something that helps somebody else, whether it is recognised or not, it doesn’t matter. You do it because of the way it makes you feel, because at the end of the day, you know you’ve done something for somebody else,“ says Kevin.
Kevin first got involved with Red Cross’ Invercargill branch four years ago and was eventually elected as the president. He’s mainly supported the area with fundraising activities while promoting the work of Red Cross.
“Red Cross has an international reputation of doing good and it has a much greater impact worldwide than any other organisation – its reach is huge, and so are the opportunities to get involved,” says Kevin.
Kevin is also part of New Zealand Red Cross’ Disaster Welfare and Support Team in Invercargill. There are 19 teams around Aotearoa, training all year round to support people affected by disaster. From first aid to welfare support and community assessments, our members play a key role in the aftermath of storms, floods and other emergency events. While Kevin's health issues may not allow him to be deployed all over New Zealand, his knowledge and skills help assist his team if Invercargill was affected.
“We’re all involved with Red Cross to better the community, not just to help after a disaster. It’s also about looking after your neighbour and your family,” says Kevin.
Another Red Cross hat Kevin wears once a week is as a Meals on Wheels driver. Every Tuesday morning, Kevin picks up meals from the local hospital and drops them off to people who are unable to cook for themselves. As Kevin says, the service goes beyond dropping off a hot lunch.
“It’s more than just delivering a meal, it’s checking up on people. When you deliver the meals, you also check on people and make sure things are going well for them. Some people I meet may not see anyone else all day,” says Kevin.
Kevin’s favourite involvement with Red Cross is around our Young Humanitarians programme. He helps the local service centre organise the week-long training for kids to learn about humanitarian issues, gain leadership skills and make a difference in the community.
When our volunteer team is low on members, Kevin also gives a hand with our local Community Transport service, driving people from home to their medical appointment – another hat Kevin enjoys wearing.
“I wear many different hats, but fortunately I don’t have to wear them all at the same time! And sometimes, it’s a matter of swapping hats and putting on one hat, and then swapping it for another one,” says Kevin.
Kevin is one of our amazingly dedicated Red Cross members, but you don’t need to get involved every day of the week to help people in need. There are many ways you can support your community:
- Become a volunteer – browse through our many Red Cross volunteer opportunities and find the right fit for your interests and availability
- Donate – support the programmes that allow people like Kevin to help in his community
- Organise a fundraising event to fund our many community programmes
- Book a first aid course – be ready to help in an emergency