A meal, a listening ear, a hand-packed bag of essentials and a note of encouragement for a woman fleeing domestic violence, a pair of pyjamas for her child.
Those are just a few of the things volunteers deliver in our community - and we owe them a huge debt of thanks.
Forbes Shire Council has hosted a morning tea to say thank you to local volunteers, and Mayor Phyllis Miller paid tribute to the vital role volunteers play in Forbes every day.
Recent Census data shows volunteerism continues to decline, but Forbes' involvement is above the national levels with 18.5 per cent of residents indicating they'd done voluntary work through an organisation or group in the last 12 months.
Those figures would no doubt have been impacted by COVID-19 in that timeframe.
"Without volunteers, we would not be delivering half the services that we do as a council for our community," Mayor Phyllis Miller said.
In just two examples, she shone the spotlight on the work of volunteers at the recent Frost and Fire and estimated Forbes' long-serving Railway Arts and Tourism volunteers saved the community $5.5 million in visitor information services over 27 years.
But it's not just about the fact we couldn't possibly pay for these services.
"They didn't just volunteer their time, they sold Forbes from their heart to all of those visiting people that came in to see our town," Mayor Miller said.
Every person at the event had a story to tell, a cause they were passionate about.
We are privileged to share a few of their stories:
It's hard to believe Peter and Elaine Bright only moved to Forbes in 2005!
Peter had retired in 2000, and when the couple moved to Forbes he pretty quickly became involved in a bid to re-establish a local Lions club.
He now says he's "rusted on" to the organisation, driven by the incredible work it has done over the years since.
"There are so many things that have happened," he said.
One of the club's first works was to install hearing loops in local primary schools. For those not familiar with hearing loops, they connect to a hearing impaired child's hearing aid so they hear their teacher "as if they're in their ear".
Just a few months after installation, Peter was stopped in the street by a young woman who recognised his Forbes Lions t-shirt.
"She started to cry," Peter, still obviously moved by the meeting himself, told the volunteer gathering.
"She said I've just come from school and I've seen my son participate in the classroom for the very first time.
"So we're both having a hug and crying in Lachlan Street.
"Can you understand why I'm rusted on to the Lions Club? Can you understand why I love volunteering?
"You don't go in expecting rewards but you do get them. You get them every day."
Lions were also ready to respond in the 2016 flooding. Within three days of disaster declaration, they were ready with relief from Lions Australia and Lions International for farmers who had lost their crops overnight.
"We were giving out vouchers for food and things like that, but at the end of the day, a farmer would come in to us there at the HACC Centre totally bereft, you can't quite imagine," Peter said.
"We'd sit down and talk with them. At the end of the day we'd give them a pittance in comparison to what they'd lost, but they walked out of there with a smile on their face."
Our country communities are a great place to live but the reality is we need to travel to bigger centres for medical appointments.
For many of us it's just a matter of getting in the car, or calling on a family member, but not everyone has that luxury or that support network.
Enter Neighbourhood Central's community transport scheme, and volunteers like Trevor Drury.
For 10 years now the scheme - and Trevor has been part of it since the beginning - has been helping people from Forbes (Condobolin, Parkes and other areas) get to their appointments in Orange, Dubbo and other major centres.
"It's primarily for medical appointments," he said.
"For example they can't drive after a visit to the eye specialist because they've had drops, or they just don't have a way of getting there."
The scheme is well coordinated by Neighbourhood Central across Parkes, Forbes and Condobolin to ensure the most efficient use of everyone's time.
"It's a way of helping people," Trevor, who is well known for his involvement in local community groups, said.
"I do more but it's one of the most rewarding ones because you know you are helping people who cannot keep their appointments otherwise."
It's 100 years since the Australian Country Women's Association was established - Forbes celebrated this milestone recently - but if you haven't connected with this group personally, you might be surprised by the breadth of what they do.
Forbes Evening Branch president Robyn Miller has officially been a member for decades, and has become more involved - and more passionate for the cause - as she's had more time to be part of it in the past 10 years.
This group of volunteers balances fun, friendship and some serious fundraising so they can support causes - just a few of those being a local student midwife, Grease and Oil Change, Can Assist and Western Care Lodge.
"I love the camaraderie of the members, the fun we have, the ability to do things for the community and the variety of things we do - the people we come into contact with," Robyn reflected at the morning tea.
Our local CWA Evening Branch has packed handbags for dignity with essentials for women fleeing domestic violence - each volunteer penning notes to lend strength and encouragement.
Children arriving at the women's refuge can receive brand new pyjamas and toiletries thanks to their thoughtfulness.
Yes, they're kitchen wizards, making 250 litres of soup for Frost and Fire, breakfast and dinner for the hay runners who came to Forbes during the drought, catering for Show judges and so much more.
They also have a lot of fun as they seek to raise funds to sow back into local causes, with great effort going into their annual country of study dinner and events like their recent garden party.
It was our CWA members who took delivery of palletloads of shoeboxes thoughtfully packed with gifts from all over the country and made sure they got to rural mums during the drought - sending them home on schoolbuses with kids.
Their annual group public speaking competition gives children the opportunity to nurture their skills and build confidence in that field.
Forbes has day and evening branches of the CWA, the evening branch meets at the Bowlie at 6pm on the second Thursday of each month.
They welcome new and interested community members, if you can send an email in advance so they can have a seat ready for you please contact email@example.com
Forbes Meals on Wheels has been delivering meals to community members since 1965 and Sheryl Garner says "the need is desperately there".
A team of about 130 volunteers deliver hot or frozen meals - depending on the need - to about 80 regular clients in our community.
They've done this through flood, through drought, even through COVID - with all the additional requirements and changes needed to keep everyone safe.
"Every year you as volunteers you have travelled for us 85,000km - just delivering a meal," Sheryl said at the appreciation function.
"We're funded to deliver 14,950 meals, for the last three years we've delivered 15,685 and this year we're looking at 17 and a half thousand meals. So the need is desperately there.
"Our service and our clients thank you because you might be the only person that they see. and especially during all of the lockdowns," Sheryl said.
"You do a fantastic job, we're very proud to have you, we're very thankful to have you."
You can find out more about Meals on Wheels Forbes online at forbesmealsonwheels.org.au/
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