At the core of all that Fusion does, is the belief that we are at our best when we are working with others toward a purpose outside of ourselves. Rather than focusing on making ourselves happier, we know joy, fulfilment, and peace when we’re committed to a bigger story than simply our own comfort, health, and wealth. What’s more, doing this alongside others might actually add to the richness of life, even if there’s a bit more discomfort along the way.
From the beginning, Fusion has been powered by volunteers; people who care about their communities and are willing to do whatever is needed to love their neighbours. Modelled on the community of disparate individuals that Jesus drew around him, Fusion teams started as small groups of young adults who saw the needs of young people in their communities and wanted to help. They had no special skills, just a desire to make a difference for those who often went unnoticed.
While sticking with their studies or work, these twenty-somethings gave their time to connect with local young people in new and culturally relevant ways, using rock and roll music, mentoring and weekend day trips. Pooling their resources, committing their time, skills and energy, their efforts to live a lifestyle of authentic faith founded a movement that would later spread across Australia and around the world.
Much like the first disciples, these faithful young people came together around a common cause, working together to overcome challenges and adversity, with their eyes focussed on something bigger than themselves.
This National Volunteer Week we celebrate all those who continue to do the same; giving their time, energy, and creativity to help young people, their families, and communities. Whether sorting and selling clothes in the Fusion Op Shops, getting messy on weekend youth day trips, spending time in the school holidays in music, cooking, and craft programs, feeding those who are homeless and alone, growing vegetables for food relief, building cars as part of a youth mentoring program, or using their technical, financial or management skills behind the scenes, volunteers are the core of all we do.
Research now shows that volunteering is good for our mental, physical, and spiritual health. Here are just a few of the ways that helping others does us good, no matter our age:
1. Volunteering connects us to others – we can make friends with people of all ages and from all walks of life when we come together around a common cause.
2. Volunteering is good for mind and body – having something new to think about gets our creative minds working and moving out of the house and into the community is great for our physical health.
3. Volunteering can help in your career – what better way to show that you are interested in learning or contributing than by giving your time and getting some experience.
4. Volunteering brings meaning, fulfilment, and fun– contributing to a cause, finding purpose and being in community bring meaning and joy to the whole of life.
So, when we’re feeling dissatisfied with life and looking for the next distraction to get us through the week, maybe we could look around and see who might need our help and if there are other people who might like to get involved too.
Western Sydney videographer, Jeff E has been using his technical skills to help the team at St Marys put on film the stories of their work with young people in Mt Druitt and surrounding areas. With an already busy schedule shooting and editing corporate and wedding videos, Jeff is excited to also use his experience to support young people doing it tough.
Photo Credit: Jerry Guan
‘If we would look beyond our circumstance and freely give our time and resource to a positive cause, imagine the kind of society we could build.’
– Jeff E, Volunteer with Fusion Western Sydney
If you’re like Jeff and long to be part of changing the world around you, maybe you could give volunteering a go. No need to wait until you have the time or talents you think it takes. Those first disciples brought nothing but a commitment to follow the example of Jesus, being his hands and feet in their neighbourhood. And look what a difference that made.