Fresh from launching its annual Summer Appeal, Surf Life Saving New Zealand is joining volunteer organisations around the world to celebrate International Volunteer Day.
The United Nations led initiative 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 contribution to NZ society but rarely get the recognition they deserve.
The theme for 2016 is 'Together we can' which emphasizes the power of community and that, by working together, we can achieve great things.
The focus of the 2016 Surf Life Saving Summer Appeal, which launched on December 1, is supporting the 4,500 volunteer lifeguards bravely serving between the flags.
Surf Life Saving New Zealand CEO Paul Dalton says many people don't realise that most of the lifeguards that patrol our beaches are volunteers, sacrificing their summer to protect others.
"The safety of people on the beach is Surf Life Saving's core business and lifeguards are an integral part of that. Without our volunteers, we wouldn't have a rescue service," he says.
Mr Dalton says International Volunteer Day is a great way to celebrate Surf Life Saving's members alongside the global movement of volunteers.
"Our army of volunteers, from the frontline lifeguards patrolling our beaches to the club administrators working tirelessly behind the scenes, are all contributing to making our beaches a safer place for Kiwis and their families to enjoy their summer. On behalf of our organisation, we thank you all for your selfless efforts," he says.
For more about the Surf Life Saving Summer Appeal or becoming a member, please visit www.surflifesaving.org.nz
Lisa Smith, Media & Communications Manager,
Phone 0276 488 823