Rewards are great for volunteering
Putting a smile on another person's face is the best reward you can get for volunteering, according to Wodonga residents Val and Greg McKenzie.
The couple have racked up 13 continuous years of volunteer work with Wodonga Council and don't plan to stop any time soon.
Twice a month Val visits residents at Westmont Aged Care, while Greg visits men residing at Estia Health Wodonga.
"Some days you might be the only face these residents see for the day and it lifts their spirit," Mrs McKenzie said.
"They enjoy the interaction as much as we do."
When the retirees are not making visits to nursing homes, they are giving their time to Wodonga Council events such as Australia Day activities and Children's Fair.
"We did a lot of work in the lead up to Children's Fair. It keeps us active and involved in the community," Mr McKenzie said.
Another couple to clock up 13 years of volunteering with Wodonga Council is Trudi and Gary Anglin.
The couple first started out volunteering at the former council event, Carnivale, but both agree that Australia Day is their favourite event.
"I just love Australia Day, it gives you a lot of national pride," Mrs Anglin said.
"The people attending are happy to be there and so the atmosphere is just fantastic."
There are many jobs on the day, but for Mrs Anglin nothing could beat applying tattoos of the Australian flag to people's faces.
"The children get right into it, but there are also a lot of adults who want them on their faces or arm and so that's a lot of fun," she said.
"We have watched the event grow over the years, council put on a great event and residents really appreciate having a day out at Les Stone Park."
Mrs Anglin encourages others with spare time to consider volunteering with council.
"You meet other lovely volunteers and over the years you enjoy catching up with them at the next council event," she said.
Meanwhile, Mr Anglin reflected back on his time at the Bonegilla Migrant Centre where he undertook maintenance work and also believes volunteering comes with many rewards.
"I really enjoyed it out there, listening to the history and people's stories," he said.
Council also wishes to thank Carolyn Naldrett, Leanne Jenvey, Carol Keep, Shirley Stafford and Thomas Rilen who have all notched up 10 years of volunteering with council.