On the 1st September 1968 Betty Quinn walked into “the Port Pirie Central Mission” now known as Goods @ Gertrude and asked if she could volunteer. This week Betty celebrated 50 years of volunteering at a special event dedicated to Uniting Country SA’s (UCSA) volunteers.
Betty recalls that when she commenced volunteering it was in the small minister’s home that was attached to the main street church, now a restaurant “I would bring my 3 year old daughter along every week; there was no cash register, only a biscuit tin.”
When asked why she has volunteered for 50 years, she said “I don’t just enjoy it, I love it, I have met so many wonderful people, the company is great and I get so much satisfaction helping people.”
Betty would volunteer during the day and would work as a nurse in the evenings
Apart from the 3 different stores and numerous name changes over the 50 years, the biggest change Betty has noticed are the donations that are received. “Years back we only got old clothes and old furniture, but now we get brand new items, lots with tags on.”
Betty is still an active volunteer at Goods @ Gertrude, volunteering on a Tuesday twice a month for 8 hours. Betty can be found at the front desk serving customers with her infectious smile and bubbly personality.
Uniting Country SA has 182 active volunteers across the region; these volunteers have done everything from providing treatment to people with head lice as part of the Icy Emu program in Port Augusta, to managing our Green Bookcases in Port Augusta and Port Pirie, to serving over 4,000 customers at the Port Pirie Community Centre, to assisting UCSA with data entry and administration duties so UCSA’s workers can have more time with clients.
It is impossible to list just how many more ways volunteers have assisted UCSA in providing services all across our region. They have provided us with countless hours of incredible work. Uniting Country SA would like to thank everyone who is willing to volunteer their time to help us provide our services.