On the eve of launching the Surf Life Saving Summer Appeal, the organisation is also taking the opportunity to thank its thousands of volunteer lifeguards and club administrators on International Volunteer Day 2013.
International Volunteer Day is held annually on December 5 around the globe.
The day is about acknowledging and congratulating all volunteers in our communities. It provides an opportunity for New Zealanders to take the time to say thank you to those people who make a huge selfless contribution to NZ society but rarely get the recognition they truly deserve.
The celebration also hopes to encourage continued support for the volunteer sector as well as encouraging new volunteers to lend a hand.
Surf Life Saving New Zealand CEO Paul Dalton says on behalf of Surf Life Saving New Zealand he would like to thank the 4,000 frontline volunteer lifeguards who will spend over 200,000 hours keeping a watchful eye on over 80 beaches throughout the country this year and the army of club administrators who make it all happen. The combination helps to make our beaches a safer place for Kiwis and their families to enjoy their summer.
As a charity, it's thanks to these people that Surf Life Saving can continue to operate, he says. "Our volunteers are the backbone of our organisation and make a huge sacrifice to give up their holiday time over summer to patrol New Zealand's beaches and keep the New Zealand public safe in the water year after year."
Mr Dalton says the hours on patrol are the tip of the iceberg. There are also countless hours of preparation via training, up-skilling and basic things like maintenance of equipment to keep their surf clubs running. "We're very proud of our volunteers and I hope that this International Volunteer Day- and every day of the year- they know how grateful we are for all that they do," says Mr Dalton.
The Surf Life Saving Summer Appeal starts on December 6, 2013 and goes through to February 2, 2014, and aims to raise much needed funds.
"Surf Life Saving is a charity that needs the public's support to enable lifeguards to save more lives. For over 100 years, we've kept New Zealanders safe between the flags. As a charity, we rely on donations to make that possible and we appreciate all the support people can give us," says Mr Dalton.
To support the appeal text 'SURF' to 933 to automatically donate $3 or visit www.surflifesaving.org.nz/supportus to make a donation online.
To find out more about Surf Life Saving New Zealand or becoming a volunteer lifeguard, please visit www.surflifesaving.org.nz/becomealifeguard.
A volunteer lifeguard patrols Taylors Mistake in Christchurch. Photo thanks to Dougal Holmes
For more information, please contact:
Lisa Honeybone, Media & Communications Specialist,
Phone 09 303 9335 or 0276 488 823