IT is said that strong communities are created when people are engaged and that this in turn leads to the creation of a sense of social responsibility.
At Capalaba the community must be rock hard given the uplifting story regarding a rugby league club, a chemist and some homeless people getting together to create a place for children to play.
Capalaba Warriors District Junior Rugby League Football Club members had noticed an empty block of over-run land near their premises. It turned out to be owned by the Capalaba Day Night Pharmacy and its owners agreed to hand over the land to the club.
This led to the Redland Community Centre’s Homeless United members doing some hard work in cleaning up and landscaping the area so children could play there. Businesses and the footy club members have also volunteered many hours.
These days all sorts of people climb on the charity bandwagon, many with a view to positively marketing themselves or some group they are involved in. These people at Capalaba simply saw a need and stepped up.
Sydney University points out that being a volunteer in such projects can improve your skills, help you make friends and is even good for the mind and body. Volunteers invariably feel good because they are making a difference.
In 2010, 6.1 million Australians volunteered and – based on the average wage – their work would have amounted to $25.4 billion. This can only have increased exponentially since then.
In fact, Sydney University is so impressed with its volunteers that is says the institution would not be the same without them.
It also points out that prospective employers give bonus points to job applicants who are motivated enough and community-spirited enough to be volunteers. Volunteering also helps people improve their skills and taking part makes people feel happy.
In fact, a London School of Economics study found that the more volunteer work people did, the higher they rated their happiness. When compared with people who never put their hands up, the study found the odds of being happy rose seven per cent among those who volunteered monthly and 12 per cent for those who volunteered every two to four weeks.
Hopefully, this engagement at Capalaba will boost the homeless people who helped out. It also shows what a great resource Redland has in its residents.