Friday the 13th was supposed to be unlucky, but I spent it on an enjoyable afternoon at the Community Volunteers & Charity Afternoon Tea over at Petone Working Men's Club in Udy Street. This was another event hosted by the Hutt Valley Chamber of Commerce, this time a charity event inviting charities and volunteer organisations to come and network and participate in raffles, prize draws and other good causes. It was a great pleasure to find prominent councillors among our guest speakers, including the Deputy Mayor. They clearly see the value of charities and volunteer organisations to our community.
I was there as part of my Petone Toastmasters group and promoting Toastmasters speech craft. But there was nothing to stop business organisations coming too, so business cards were exchanged as much as the information on charities and volunteer organisations.
Many familiar charities and volunteer organisations were there, including St Johns Ambulance, Volunteer Hutt and Te Omanga Hospice. There were some surprises and things I will bear in mind, such as Coffee News, a newspaper edition to enjoy over a cup of coffee, and Skylight, an organisation that offers counselling and professional services for when you are going through tough times and emotional crises. But perhaps the biggest surprise of all was St John's pens - the pens come out with pullout banners of first aid tips!