National Volunteer Week: Violet Thornton, 82, celebrates 16 years of volunteer work at Foodbank Geraldton

Jessica MoroneyGeraldton Guardian
Foodbank volunteer Violet Thornton.
Camera IconFoodbank volunteer Violet Thornton. Credit: Jessica Moroney

Many organisations simply would not be standing today if it wasn’t for the members of the community who offer a helping hand and volunteer.

Their selfless work makes it important for the community to reciprocate when possible and one such opportunity is National Volunteers Week this week.

Local wonder woman Violet Thornton has been volunteering at Foodbank Geraldton for 16 years, packing hampers with care for customers in need. She gains only one thing in return — a sense of joy.

“I find it very satisfying. I’ve been packing chippy bags, or snack packs you could call them,” she said.

The 82-year-old said working out the back and packing goods meant she didn’t see customers regularly but enjoyed knowing she had the ability to help others.

“I work here three days a week; that is about all I can handle at this age,” she said.

“Mostly I’ve been packing out the back. I quite enjoy it.”

Apart from volunteering at Foodbank, Mrs Thornton spends time seeing her four children, 10 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren and maintaining her half-acre property with her husband.

“I’m not meant to let him climb ladders,” she said.

Foodbank manager Jamie O’Brien said the Geraldton store would be lost without Mrs Thornton’s handy volunteer work.

“Vi is an absolute gun; she is just fantastic and gets the job done. She’s 82 and if she ever does go, there will be a big hole to fill,” Mr O’Brien said.

“We would like to give a huge thank you to our volunteers. Without them Foodbank couldn’t function; their time and work is hugely appreciated.”

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