In late 2011 I was excited when I heard that the Country Women’s Association was reopening its branch in Katherine. I thought it was a fantastic way of giving back to the community so when a friend handed me a membership form I signed up and paid my $30 straight away. Being a new branch we were seeking plenty of women to recruit to be part of the cause. I’d ask my friends if they’d like to join and I got plenty of excuses “I don’t have the time for that sort of thing”, “I’m not a bake-y, crafty type”, “isn’t the CWA for little old ladies?” et cetera, et cetera. But the one excuse that pissed me off was “what’s in it for me?” Well, why the hell should there be anything in it for you? That’s not the whole idea of CWA. CWA is about giving back, not bloody taking!
But, if you did happen to wonder “what’s in it for me?” then I’d think you’d find there’s plenty. Making new friends for a start. That was why it was formed. Lonely farmer’s wives sick of their own company banded together and gave themselves a social outlet. Another reason would be an opportunity to learn new things. Whether it be off fellow CWA members or from a master class. The warm fuzzies when giving back to the community is a good reason. Money raised from events have gone to various causes like local sick kids, the Kintore Street School’s new bus, the Australian Outback Baby Project and the International Women of the World Association. That’s the best bit. Being able to help someone out that is less fortunate than ourselves.
And yeah, okay, it might take up a bit of time. I mean, heaven forbid, we have one meeting a month which takes up a whole of one, maybe two, hours. And then if we hold a stall members might be asked to put up their hand to volunteer to man that stall which might take 3 hours or more if you’re willing. But really, in the bigger picture, it takes up bugger all time. And the help required might not even be volunteered by actual members. Take the Katherine Show this year for example. We had a wonderful girl put up her hand to volunteer for a shift, my friend Kerrie who was up from New South Wales cooked and served customers all Friday despite going through the hell that is chemotherapy and I managed to rope my Dad to help pack up at the end of the weekend despite him having driven how many thousands of kilometres to see me and put up with me dashing off to do my shifts and fill gaps on the stall. And not to mention the sweetest cops who also helped us carry stuff to our cars upon packing up.
Taking the time out to be part of something better is fulfilling and rewarding. Soon, I’ll be adding spending time with the elderly to my list of philanthropic activities. But I don’t do it for the glory and recognition. It’s something I feel everyone should do at least once in a while. Help out. It won’t hurt you. And you never know, you might find there is something in it for you!