Be neighbourly; Don’t “volunteer” …

by convenor on 06/04/2015

Your car is in the driveway but it won’t start.
Your neighbour comes out of her front door heading for her car.

CAR GOT-TOAD-300x218She hears your car failing to start and calls out, “Can I give you a Ride. I am heading to Castle Towers, if that helps”
You accept her neighbourly act with an unstated promise to return the favour one day.

Just being neighbourly. That’s all!

That’s what good neighbours do!

People do this sort of thing when circumstances arise and don’t give it a second thought.

It will probably mean a couple of extra minutes to detour and drop you off but you would do the same for her (or one of her family) … and probably will one day!

 Offering a Ride to someone you know who has broken down is the least we can do. Right?

Not everything is about me. Caring about others is just as important as running a family or earning an income. Looking out for others is what makes us human and helps build a strong community.

You wouldn’t call it volunteering?

But what if the offer of a Ride was being extended to a stranger; even if, a very deserving and somewhat vulnerable stranger? Then, in the way we think about things, it can quickly become “volunteering”.

And “volunteering” can often be seen as something that:

” I would like to do but haven’t got the time to devote to it; busy family and all”

If that’s you, put aside that logic. You now have a way of offering a Ride to “your neighbour” whenever it suits you. And, just like helping a neighbour out (above), it doesn’t take you out of your way by more than a few minutes.

Flyer - Be neighbourly Dont volunteer

It is organised to permit people to just “Be Neighbourly” when it fits with their busy lifestyles. The recipients of our neighbourliness are local elderly people who are suffering Shut-in Syndrome but who want to get out and about.

It is designed for people who don’t have enough spare time to volunteer, in the traditional sense of the word. So in addition to having a caring heart, the only qualification is that you drive to/from or around The Hills occasionally.

We make the introductions so that the Seniors taking a Ride with you don’t feel like strangers. And there’s no sense of obligation if you decide not to offer a Ride, as in our network another “neighbour” is always around the corner.

Our flyer explains how easy it is to join us (not to volunteer!) at HillsCarPal and I’d love it if you did. But either way, please take a look and tell us if our message is clear.


All my best,


admin April 7, 2015 at 2:32 PM

Thanks Bill for your insightful comments.

Just so I understand, did you see the blog post alone or with a covering email?

Either way I take your point that it can be be confusing.

Primarily we are looking for people to volunteer their cars but not to feel they are committing to a regular gig. We want our volunteers to be in control of if and when they might offer assistance, just as a neighbour might do!

It’s a different formula to traditional volunteering Which does not involve staying with the Client I.e. Detour, pickup and then drop off … And on your way to do what you wee driving to anyway.

As first step in clarifying our message in this blog post, we are thinking about changing the flyer’s title to Be neighbourly. Don’t “volunteer”


John Mc

Bill April 7, 2015 at 1:51 PM

Like the look / colour and tone however there does seem to be a bit of confusion about the audience for the flyer.
Parts seem to be seeking drivers and a small part pointing to the passengers – if I had not read most of your site this flyer may leave me querying who the clientele are and just what services are being offered.

All the best

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