When we ran our Volunteer Survey in January one key finding was that a significant proportion of Volunteers are also looking for paid work. Because it actually costs them money to turn up. We’ve been working to find solutions.

When we tell you that one of these initiatives, Serve & Earn, is happening in the kiwi fruit industry, we’re well aware that the industry’s reputation is a controversial issue. Bear with us for a moment, this is different.

There’s one company that’s looking for creative ways to change the situation, get Kiwis back into the industry with decent pay and conditions, and contribute to the broader community at the same time.

We’re working on a program with Garcia Contracting Services that’s designed to allow our registered Volunteers to get paid to work, continue Volunteering, and generate a small stream of income that will be used to support Volunteering throughout the Bay of Plenty. The contract between Volunteering Bay of Plenty and Garcia has been reviewed pro bono by @HollandBeckettLaw as one of their generous gestures in support of our communities.

Here’s how it works

Volunteering Bay of Plenty introduces registered Volunteers, with their permission, to work at Garcia in various kiwi fruit industry roles, for which they get paid the market rate. This gives them the income they need to help with living expenses and it will allow them to continue Volunteering across the community.

Garcia then donates to Volunteering Bay of Plenty $1 for every hour individuals have worked – and don’t worry it doesn’t come out of anyone’s wages. It’s simply Garcia’s way of giving back to the community.

To learn more about Luciano Garcia, General Manager and Garcia Contracting Services, check out this link to the NZ Herald article.

There are many ways you could get involved. If you’d like to explore this, please get in touch at admin@www.volunteeringservices.org.nz – or call 07 571 3714