MANY volunteers not only donate their time, energy and expertise but are often asked to dig into their wallets to pay for such things as petrol and equipment.
To help the volunteers of community organisations in the Richmond electorate, local MP Justine Elliot announced this week that the Gillard government would donate $130,000, divided over 37 community groups, as part of a $16 million National Volunteer Grants program.
Mrs Elliot visited the Cabarita Community Garden project at Bogangar Primary School this week and presented the people behind the initiative with a cheque for $2,310.
Mrs Elliot said "the volunteers will receive a grant of between $1,000 and $5,000 to contribute to volunteers' fuel costs and purchase much-needed equipment such as laptops, barbeques and shade structures.
"Grants will also help with the transport costs of volunteers with disability who are unable to drive and need to use public transport or taxis as part of their volunteering role.
"Volunteers continue to make a significant social and economic contribution to Australian society, contributing approximately $14.6 billion to the not-for-profit sector each year."
More than 166,000 volunteers from a variety of community organisations will benefit from the grants including Fingal Head Coastcare ($2,200), Kingscliff District Football Club ($4,494), Special Olympics Tweed ($4,866) and Tweed Palliative Support ($4,500).
"The government is committed to supporting our army of volunteers and this year's grants will help them to undertake their selfless work in supporting local communities," Mrs Elliot said