When things get tough, many people turn to a motivational quote for inspiration, but for North Parramatta Playgroup Coordinator, Stephanie, a simple quote changed her life forever. We sat down with Stephanie to find out how she got involved with playgroup and what volunteering means to her.
“I got involved with Playgroup NSW when my son was 1 year old. I thought it would be a great way to socialise with other mums and kids, especially because we were quite new to the area, having moved from New Zealand. The Playgroup NSW website gave me a list of groups around the area, and I found one only five minutes away from home. We decided to give it a go, and enjoyed it so much, we have been regulars ever since.”
“Just over two years ago, there was a vacancy at our playgroup for the Coordinator role. One of our coordinators was moving to a different playgroup, so she was looking for someone to take over. At the time, I remember reading a book and stumbling on a quote that said, ‘Volunteers don't get paid, not because they're worthless, but because they're priceless.’ It’s simple, but it struck a chord with me. I took the quote as a sign and volunteered as Coordinator without any hesitation. Looking back, it has definitely paid off.”
Stephanie’s organised nature meant volunteering came naturally.
“Before each weekly session, I come in a bit early to set up the play equipment, morning tea, arts and crafts, books and musical equipment. I also welcome the members and visitors to the group, and explain what we do and perform general admin tasks like taking attendance.”
While she argues that anyone could do her job, Stephanie says the opportunity to volunteer and make a difference in the lives of other people is priceless.
“I find volunteering at playgroup extremely rewarding. I’m a stay at home mum, so it was ideal for me. I’m there with my son and watching him grow and learn, and also getting something out of it for myself because I’m meeting other parents and making life-long friends. Volunteering really allows you to foster that sense of community. At the end of the day, what makes it all worthwhile is seeing the smiles on the children and parents’ faces and knowing that you’ve played a small part in making that happen.”