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Karen Makes a Difference for Victorian Students in Need

News bulletin: 4 December 2015

International Volunteer Day is celebrated on 5 December each year to acknowledge the dedicated individuals who donate their time to support the community.

Karen Laurent, a former leading teacher at a Victorian primary school, volunteers at State Schools' Relief (SSR), which helps disadvantaged families with the cost of school uniforms.

SSR was established in 1930, during the depression, by a group of principals and teachers who wanted to ensure that children from families could continue their education.

Since retiring, Karen kindly donates her time to support Victorian families in need.

‘Having worked in primary schools, I know that students who don’t look the same as others often feel left out,’ Karen said.

‘As a result, if they can have a uniform provided for them in the school colours, they can feel proud of themselves and be part of the school.’

Starting out by volunteering a few hours here and there, Karen now spends one whole day each week at the new SSR warehouse.

‘It’s quite exciting. I do anything from working in the warehouse, packing and picking clothes for children who are disadvantaged, to working in the office,’ Karen said.

‘I like the thought that I’m helping students in need and I like that I’m working in an environment with happy and friendly people. It gives me a great sense of satisfaction.’

This International Volunteers Day, we celebrate volunteers like Karen who make difference to the lives of Victorians.

Anyone interested in volunteering at SSR, email: volunteer@ssr.net.au.

For more information, see:

Pictured: Karen Laurent (left) with Rodney Bennetts and Kiah Holland.