Surf Life Saving New Zealand is joining others worldwide by recognising and celebrating its volunteers this International Volunteer Day (IVD).
Held each year on December 5, the special day was designated by the United Nations back in 1985 to give recognition to and celebrate the immeasurable contribution volunteers make to communities throughout the world.
The theme for 2017 is "Volunteers Act First. Here. Everywhere." The theme is recognition of volunteer efforts around the world, as well as a tribute to the support volunteers provide in times of instability, disasters or humanitarian crises.
Surf Life Saving New Zealand CEO Paul Dalton says as we begin another summer, it's timely to pay a special thanks to our 19,000 members nationwide that give up their time with friends and families to keep their communities safer.
"Many people don't realise that most of the lifeguards that patrol our beaches are volunteers, sacrificing their summer to protect others."
Mr Dalton says IVD is a great opportunity to celebrate and recognise all of Surf Life Saving's members that make a huge contribution but rarely get the recognition they deserve.
"Whether they are front and centre patrolling our beaches, or working tirelessly behind the scenes, our members are humble in the fact that they are making a world of difference to their community just by donating their time and skill, he says.
"The fact is, without them, we wouldn't have our essential rescue service and the thousand or more people that get rescued each year would face uncertain fates."
For those heading to the beach this summer, Surf Life Saving New Zealand has a few simple rules; visit a patrolled beach and swim between the flags, learn about the dangers, know your limits and if in doubt, stay out.
Find out more about International Volunteer Day at http://www.volunteeringnz.org.nz/international-volunteer-day-2017/
Lisa Smith, Media & Communications Manager
Phone 0276 488 823