Volunteer Alison always ready to make a difference
February 2019 NSW
Volunteers bring so many different skills to the Property Industry Foundation. You can see them developing strategy on our boards and committees, they are serving up food to hungry cyclists at our Tour de PIF event and wielding a paint brush to make a room for a young person really welcoming.
Alison Marshall works hard to help manage the data in our national database from our Sydney office. The database is our lifeline to all our supporters and donors, so it is essential to what we do. We asked her a few questions about her experience. Alison is on the right of the photo above with Maureen Collins, our Head of Fundraising.
What motivated you to start volunteering?
I have been volunteering at the Foundation since January 2017. After returning to Australia with my family from the UK and sorting out our new house, it was time to get something else in the diary.
When the children where small we lived in a small village and I didn't return to work straight away. So, in order to keep using my “professional” skills and to benefit my children and the village children I was involved in many volunteering activities: treasurer for the playgroup, the Parents’ and Teachers’ Association, and building a new playground.
From volunteering and working in the British countryside and seeing both the pretty side of the Cotswolds and the struggles of the disadvantaged and then seeing what young people faced when leaving high school in Australia, volunteering seemed like a good continuation with what I’d done in the past – and was a good chance to do even more for the community.
What makes volunteering worthwhile for you?
I know it sounds simple but "helping make a difference” makes it worthwhile. It gives great pleasure when you can help turn a school around, raise funds and help organise - and more! I like to quietly make a difference and make society more equal.
I hope that my help with the data makes it easier for others in the Foundation to leverage this information to raise more funds to build more bedrooms for more young people in need. A small pebble in a big pond!
What did you feel when seeing one of the houses PIF built (PIF House Orange)?
It makes such a difference to see first-hand what the Foundation does. PIF House Orange was completely transformed in a peaceful location with a beautiful garden and a lovely view across the countryside. I felt very privileged to be able to go and visit the house that has been refurbished for Marist180. Marist180 was kind enough to give us a guided tour of the house. I am just in awe of the amazing work the Foundation has done so far. Marist 180 is excited with this new venture. I have deep respect for the dedication so many people have shown in helping challenged youth.
What do you think of the Foundation’s work in the community?
The Property Industry Foundation does fantastic work. Whether it is building new houses or helping refurbish and fit existing properties. With the Foundation concentrating on working with the property industry to fundraise and channel the resources of the industry, it allows the charities partners to run houses and connect to young people, to concentrate on what they do best - and by golly that is hard work!
What is it like volunteering at the Foundation?
I am enjoying my time with the Foundation as it fits with my experiences. I really like the flexibility of volunteering. It fits around other things that I am doing and keeps my analytical brain working! I am pleased that the data at the Foundation more accurate and better able to help us reach our goals.
What would you say about your experience of volunteering to other people?
I think volunteering has been in my blood! Both of my parents did a lot of local volunteering for clubs and organisations while I was growing up (and it wasn’t all to do with supporting their children).
I didn’t get started on volunteering until I had children of my own and then had some time on my hands. Even when I feel like standing by, I can’t help myself but get involved! All hands-on deck!
The Property Industry Foundation is a dedicated team of people, united in its goal to help homeless young people. Our volunteers’ contribution is a stepping stone to achieve that goal. It only takes a few ours of your day to contribute to a great cause!
Help us rebuild lives! Volunteer at the Property Industry Foundation.