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For Maggie and Mary, volunteering is the perfect fit.

“I grew up in a family focused on giving back, and I think that encouraged me to be an active volunteer,” Maggie said.

Mary added: “You get so much out of volunteering – meeting people, hearing their stories and being able to help them.”

The pair volunteer at AnglicareSA’s Thread Together service, which provides people in need with brand-new clothes that would otherwise end up in landfill.

For Mary, her love of textiles and professional background in textile restoration made volunteering at Thread Together sound intriguing.

“I’ve worked with textiles all my life and hated the idea of clothes going into landfill,” Mary said.

“I loved the concept of being able to help provide people in need with decent clothes that will last them a long time, while making an effort to stop textile waste.”

Maggie, who has been volunteering at Thread Together for nine months, said her career as a paediatric emergency doctor caring for others naturally lent itself to volunteering.

“I have worked with many adults and teenagers experiencing homelessness and also within the domestic violence space,” Maggie said.

“I retired last year and wanted to continue to connect with and help the vulnerable groups of people I used to care for.”

Mary-left-and-Maggie-right-Thread-together-volunteers stand in front of the Thread Together mobile van.

With the support of volunteers like Mary and Maggie, the Thread Together service has clothed more than 29,000 South Australians since 2018.

Maggie and Mary agreed the program was about more than simply providing clothes to people in need.

“Brand-new clothes give people confidence and a sense of dignity,” Maggie said. “And the best part is that the clothes are theirs – they’re not second-hand or unfashionable.”

“It is also vital for our customers to have someone who can help them find new clothes without judgement.”

Mary said: “Some customers had never had an opportunity to choose their own clothes through other providers.

“They just wear whatever they have been given,” Mary said. “To be able to come in and be given the opportunity to browse like they’re in a boutique and choose clothing that represents them is so important.”

She said volunteering never goes out of style and encouraged more people to give it a go.

“There are so many services that are under-supported and under-funded,” Mary said. “Without volunteers, they just wouldn’t happen.”

From 20-26 May 2024, it is National Volunteer Week – an important time to celebrate and recognise the amazing contributions volunteers make to our community. At AnglicareSA, we’re proud to have around 300 volunteers who give their time to support people in need.

We have lots of great volunteering opportunities across our services. If you’re keen to help others, then click here.