Celebrating International Volunteer Day December 5, 2023 by Nicole Smith Volunteering Gold Coast is celebrating International Volunteer Day today, a day dedicated to honouring the selfless contributions of volunteers worldwide. This year’s theme, “If Everyone Did” highlights the power of collective action – if everyone volunteered, the world would be a better place. Volunteering is a powerful tool for building stronger, more inclusive, and sustainable communities. International Volunteer Day is an opportunity to recognise and celebrate the immense contributions of volunteers worldwide. On December 1st, Volunteering Gold Coast celebrated the exclusive 2023 Gold Coast Volunteer Awards at The Star Gold Coast. The event was a huge success, with over 200 guests attending. The 21 finalists were showcased over seven categories, and their exemplary community service left no dry eye in the room. In honour of International Volunteer Day, we’ll be celebrating our 2023 Gold Coast Volunteer Awards winners all week long. We’d like to introduce you to Martin Hood, who was awarded the prestigious Gold Coast Volunteer of the Year award. Martin is a highly respected member of Volunteer Marine Rescue Southport (VMR) who has dedicated over 24 years to supporting the Gold Coast community as a volunteer. As the Duty Skipper at VMR, he leads a team of 15 crew members in providing maritime assistance for 24 hours every three weeks. Martin’s efforts have resulted in over 150 rescue activations and aided more than 250 community members in the past year. In addition to his work with VMR, Martin is also a Qld Ambulance Service First Responder, frequently engaging in life-saving actions in challenging situations. Recently, he has taken on the responsibility of organizing the local marine rescue efforts for the GC Local Disaster Management Group, providing critical support for the community in case of a marine-related natural disaster. Congratulations, Martin, on your well-deserved recognition! Your dedication and commitment to the Gold Coast community are truly inspiring.