National Volunteer Week

National Volunteer Week

Dinah Pili – Our nominee for National Volunteer Week.

For over seven years, Dinah Pili has volunteered every weekday at VisionWest Community Trust’s Pātaka Kai (food service). Over the Covid-19 period, this passion and commitment to the cause of feeding West Auckland saw Dinah go above and beyond all expectations.

This is a great time to send out a huge thank you to all our volunteers – to those who help out occasionally, as well as those who dedicate a significant amount of time over many years, such as Dinah.

For over ten years, Dinah has volunteered regularly at our Pātaka Kai (food service). When asked why she volunteers, Dinah answers, “Because it’s what I want to do. Many years ago, I was homeless and lived at the VisionWest emergency house. When I had a need, they helped me and gave me hope.

“Now I want to give back and help others just like I was helped.”

Over the Covid-19 period, this passion and commitment to give back saw Dinah go above and beyond all expectations as she worked tirelessly to assist in our emergency food response team. A typical day would stretch from around 6.30am to early evening, beginning with the unloading of donated food as it arrived before packaging this into parcels ready for delivery.

Dinah admits that, at the beginning of lockdown, she was a little worried about Covid because of all the information in the news media. She was never scared, though. Her passion for the job overwhelmed any concerns.

“The need of others to have food on their table got me out of bed each day,” she explains. “It wasn’t just me, though. The team was made up of many helpers and volunteers. It was very physical labour but everyone worked hard to get the job done.”

Dinah’s selfless volunteering alongside others truly shows the benefit of working together as thousands of people in the community have been supported with food through our Pātaka kai over the years, as well as recently during the lockdown and in the weeks since.

Thank you to Dinah, and all our other wonderful volunteers at VisionWest. You are an essential part of our VisionWest team as we work to support of those in the community who are in need. You are the best!