WHILE Christmas is the time of giving, five Camperdown Vinnies volunteers were on the receiving end this week.
After giving 222 years of voluntary service between them, the ladies were officially recognised for their efforts and presented with Certificates of Appreciation.
Margaret Patterson was the group’s longest serving volunteer, having provided 49 years of service.
“Stacia Reilly and I worked the very first shift here when Vinnies opened its Camperdown shop – I’ve been turning up ever since,” she said.
“I can honestly say I still enjoy working here and helping Vinnies help others in need and I love the company.
“It’s been very rewarding for me to be involved and to know that we’re helping the wider community out.”
Mrs Patterson has consistently worked at the register of the Manifold Street store on every second Thursday.
She is noted for her willingness to fill-in shifts at short notice and hailed as “a blessing” for the organisation.
Other volunteers recognised include Margaret Fleming and Genevieve McMillan who have both given 44 years of service, Heather Vagg with 43 years and Anne Mahony who has volunteered for 42 years.
Twenty year service certificates were also presented to Mary Brown, Cynthia Moran and Sue Robertson.
The volunteers also celebrated the arrival of their youngest member, 27 year-old Alex Macaronis.
“I arrived in Camperdown about eight months ago and thought volunteering would be a great way to get to know people and learn new skills,” she said.
“I absolutely love it here. Everyone here is really lovely to work with.
“The volunteers are always in a happy mood and we always have a good laugh as we’re working away.”
Vinnies communications co-ordinator Jen Vuk said there was still a great need for the welfare organisation.
“We know that many rural communities such as Camperdown are experiencing growing need,” she said.
“This is certainly supported by our research which measured a 40 per cent increase in the total value of financial welfare support delivered across Victoria over the past three years.”
All funds raised by Vinnies’ many op shops goes directly to supporting the organisation’s local welfare work.