3 October 2008
The first thing that struck me when I met the Fleets in early 2007 was their wonderful sense of humour and passion for life. Betty and her husband Alan have been tireless volunteers for the Malaghan Institute for over seven years and they prove that you don't have to be Bill Gates in order to make a difference for an organisation. Betty tells me that the reason they became volunteers in the first place is "because it makes us happy to be able to contribute in a meaningful way to causes that we really believe in. We can't give away millions of dollars, so we give away our time."
Sadly, Alan passed away in September last year after a sudden bout with cancer. Instead of this slowing her down, it seems to have made Betty all the more determined to help in whatever ways she can. It is about this time of year that she and I get together for our "Lollipop meeting" and brainstorm about how we are going to get more volunteers collecting out on the streets. She is super organised with a wee notebook full of names and she is not shy to call people up to ask them to help!
What makes her even more remarkable is the fact that the Malaghan Institute is not the only organisation that Betty volunteers for; she also collects regularly for another nine charities. But of course, the Malaghan Institute is her favourite!
And as far as favourites go, Betty is definitely one of ours.
The Malaghan Institute is fortunate to have around 200 volunteers all as wonderful as Betty. However, we are always looking for more helpers - especially for our Lollipop Street Dayin February each year. If you think you might be interested in becoming a Malaghan volunteer, please call 0800 MALAGHAN.