Helping those less fortunate doesn't have to take up all your spare time if you don't want it to. There are plenty of ways to give others a leg up in Melbourne, and they can range from buying a coffee from a café staffed by asylum seekers to simply spending time with someone. For more ideas, check out these five great places to volunteer in Melbourne.
Social enterprises and charities in Melbourne
What is it: Melbourne’s oldest charity, which provides care to the most vulnerable in the community, including people living with homelessness, disability and family violence.
How to get involved: Visit the MCM website and browse the current volunteer roles. Start as simply as hanging out with an older person living in an aged care home for a few hours a week; small sacrifices in your time can make a huge impact to another person’s quality of life.
What is it: A respite and support service for families with children with disabilities. Extended Families matches volunteers with families, who’ll provide friendship and mentoring to the young person.
How to get involved: Apply to become a volunteer; all levels of experience are welcome and commitment can range from several hours a fortnight to participating in group events and camps.
What is it: A Melbourne-based toilet paper company that donates 50 per cent of profits to building toilets and improving sanitation across the world.
How to get involved: Sign up to a regular delivery of brightly coloured toilet rolls. $48 gets you 48 rolls of recycled toilet paper. Great value and no more carrying large toilet paper cartons on the tram.
What is it: A Melbourne-based sleepwear brand that gives a meal to someone sleeping rough for every purchase you make.How to get involved: Shop for their sleepwear online. Their collection includes men’s and women’s T-shirts and trackies, but also bras, trunks and robes.