The inaugural Backyard Legend Day is taking place on Sunday, 16 October.
The campaign is a community initiative that encourages Australians to volunteer to complete a household chore for someone who could really do with a bit of help around the house or yard: someone elderly, disabled, sick or injured, a single parent or a struggling family.
Backyard Legend Day ambassador, Mike Whitney says he supports the campaign because it goes straight to the heart of Australia’s soul and our willingness to help less fortunate members of the community.
“Backyard Legend Day is all about the Australian community spirit, which is something that runs deep in our veins. It’s in our nature to rally behind anyone who genuinely needs a helping hand and, what might seem like a small thing to us, can be a huge support to someone else.”
The most recent ABS data on volunteering shows that the rate of volunteering in Australia has declined for the first time in 20 years with the rate of people who have volunteered dropping from 36 per cent to 31 per cent over a four-year period.
Volunteers make a healthy community
According to Volunteering Australia CEO, Brett Williamson, this is concerning because the rate of volunteering is a key indicator of healthy communities. “We are seeing a shift away from formal volunteering through organisations because we are increasingly time-poor. Despite this drop in overall numbers, Australians are still very much a charitable bunch who want to support their communities.”
These statistics, however, only account for formal volunteering through an organisation and do not include informal volunteering. Backyard Legend Day supporter, Victa, believes that if informal volunteering was included in the statistics, it would paint a different picture.
“We believe that our country is full of unsung Backyard Legends,” says Victa spokesperson, Laura Clarke. “We think it’s high time that those people who help out someone in their local community through their own kindness and generosity receive some recognition and reward. We want to celebrate Australia’s informal volunteers who make a difference, no matter how small, and let them know that we are grateful for their contribution.”
As part of Backyard Legend Day, the search is on for Australia’s Backyard Legend, someone who has gone above and beyond to help out a neighbour or someone in their community. “If you know somebody who has helped out in the community in this fashion, this is a great opportunity to say ‘thanks’ and show your gratitude by nominating them and telling their story,” says Ms Clarke.
There’s $10,000 worth of prizes to be won, thanks to Victa.
What can you do?
Here’s a list of some common household chores that an Australian Backyard Legend might perform:
• Clean the pool
• Wash the car
• Mow the lawns
• Trim the hedges or edges
• Water or weed the garden
• Clean the kitchen or bathroom
• Repair or paint a fence
• Take the dog for a walk
• Cook a meal
• Do the grocery shopping
• Fix something that’s broken
• Sweep the driveway
• Hang out the washing
• Clean out the gutters