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It’s International Volunteer Day - Do Something!:

A new website helps Australians of all ages to find an organisation nearby that needs volunteer support.
By Motherpedia
Date: December 05 2012
Editor Rating:

Gen Y – born from around 1982 to 1999 and often portrayed as being a little selfish, self-centred, lazy and focussed on a good time – are hitting back in the best possible way.

Recent data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) shows that almost 600,000 people aged 18-24 are involved in some form of voluntary activity each year: it can be anything from surf life saving, scouts and guides, coaching or refereeing junior sport, refugee literacy tutoring, church activities, visiting residential aged care facilities or other community or school based activities. This represents 9.4% of all volunteer activity. Surf Life Saving Australia and Scouts and Guides Australia alone have more than 140,000 young Australians involved.
The Do Something! organisation is encouraging young people to find a an community group, charity or cause close to home which could do with some help.
According to Do Something! ambassador, Dr Karl Kruszelnicki, it’s been “scientifically proven that helping people makes you feel good” and urges people – of all ages - to give back for their own sake as well as the community.
“It feels great!” he says.
“Many people don’t realise that there are lots of young Australians out there who are helping out or getting involved in their local community,” said another Do Something! ambassador, sailor Jessica Watson.
With the help of supermarket chain, ALDI, Do Something! has launched a website known as which allows visitors to find an interest near them with a simple postcode search. No matter where anyone lives, young Australians and their parents can type in their postcode to find contact details for youth friendly and family friendly community organisations.
Those taking part include Surf Life Saving Australia, the Guides and Scouts, the State Emergency Services, Rural Fire Services, St John’s Ambulance, 2,000 charity OpShops, community gardens and many more. 
The idea is to increase the number of young people who get involved with community organisations, and organisations are able to list themselves free of charge on the website.
“Whether it’s planting trees, running local sports events or keeping our beaches safe, volunteering is a fantastic way for young people to expand their world,” says the founder of Do Something!, John Dee.
“It also makes them far more connected with their local community and helps to boost self-esteem and confidence.”
As well as being good for social and physical health, being a volunteer helps on a resume.
“A history of volunteering demonstrates a commitment to the community and a willingness to work for others,” said Mr Dee.
He added that DoSomethingNearYou would not be possible without the “generous sponsorship” of ALDI.

See Dr Karl here:

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