For hundreds of Riverina volunteers, most of their work goes unnoticed.
Every year, it is estimated that about six million Australians devote more than 900 million hours to doing voluntary work.
From Monday, the work of Australia's volunteers, including those right here in Wagga, is acknowledged during National Volunteer Week.
But who are some of the people who keep our community ticking along and why do they do what they do?
Carevan Wagga has served more than 750 meals to those in Wagga who needed it most since opening late last year.
Food is donated from Teys and Ezy Fresh Processing, but who puts it together?
The Bidgee School, The Riverina Anglican College, Wagga High and Kooringal High all have students who help prepare and cook the meals to be dished out.
Rosemary Teakle, a classroom teacher at Kooringal High, said they were approached by Carevan.
"We went to some community nights and worked out we could implement it into our food technology classes on a weekly or fortnight basis," she said.
"It means the kids can expand their skills and also give back to the community.
"We have split up the work so one class does the preparation side of it and then the next class will cook."
Ms Teakle said the rices dishes and spaghetti bolognese are just some of the dishes the students have cooked.
"We are starting to branch into some vegetarian dishes," she said.
"I think it is great for them to see what they have compared to what other people in the community have.
"It gives them the chance to develop some empathy and give back to those who are less fortunate than them."
Ms Teakle said the school is also helping to prepare food for the Kurrajong Races.
"A lot of the kids also volunteer to do face painting and art craft," she said.
"So we are donating some sausage rolls, cookies and some other things.
"It's a different catering style for the kids to learn."
At Wagga Base Hospital there are volunteers who work hard to make the lives of patients and staff that bit easier.
Joyce Parish and Lise Chan are corporate volunteers for the hospital.
Ms Chan signed up to do some volunteer work as part of the Newstart requirements and loves every minute of the work she does.
"I work here three days a week," she said.
Ms Parish decided to start volunteering when she retired at 60, and now she is 84 years old.
"I wanted to do some voluntary work and I really have enjoyed all those years," she said.
"Our job involves showing people to different areas and organising paperwork."
Ms Chan said they also sell flowers and sweet treats and organise bus trips to fundraise money for the hospital.
"We do the washing for patients as well when they need it," she said.
"We do anything else that the staff or the wards want us to do. It keeps us going and keeps us busy."
Ms Parish said she would encourage more people to find an area they can volunteer in.
"I find it very rewarding to do some work and not expect to be paid," she said.
Ms Chan said voluntary work is a way for her to learn new things and make friends.
Luke Baker, captain of the Forest Hill Rural Fire Brigade, signed up to be a volunteer in 1997 at the age of 16.
"I followed the old man, he was a member, tagged along with him and kept doing it ever since," he said.
"I am the captain now and have been for eight or nine years."
Captain Baker said it can be challenging dealing with major fires.
"We had the Mates Gully fire at Tarcutta and the big fire in Oura that was close together," he said.
"We have also had a few fatal fires in our community and that is always hard.
"It can be even tougher when there is always potential that you know them."
Despite the tough days, Captain Baker said one aspect of the job made it all worth it.
"You are helping someone out," he said.
"They're having a bad day and being able to help them is the best thing.
"Plus we get to ride a big red truck."
Ray Pelletier started volunteering for the NSW Police Force in August 1999.
"I was retiring and looking for something to keep myself occupied that would involve working with people," he said.
"We are not police officers, but we follow a code of conduct and make sure to help out the officers or community in whatever way we can. We are very good at cooking barbecues."
Mr Pelletier said he volunteers for a minimum of eight hours a week, but sometimes it can be 20 or more.
"I find it very rewarding to be able to help," he said.
"We can contact the next of kin of crime victims and we follow through and we make a report to the police. We supply a list of stolen items to the pawnbrokers in case one comes through. We do transcripts for witness statements."
Mr Pelletier said each week he will check the police cars.
"I make sure the cars are not just roadworthy but that they are ready for action at any time," he said.
Phil Richardson, captain of the Yarragundry Rural Fire Service, decided to volunteer for the RFS back in 1989.
"We had a few fires in the community and I thought 'that is something I could help with' so I signed up," he said. "I first joined the Eunony brigade. Some of the big moments of my time are Black Saturday and the 1994 bush fires in Sydney."
Captain Richardson said he hopes more people will start to sign up as a lot of the RFS members are getting older.
"We would like to pass on these skills," he said. "It's rewarding to be there for people when they need it most."
This year, Volunteering Australia will be celebrating 30 years of National Volunteer Week.
Established in 1989, National Volunteer Week was the first collaborative attempt to promote volunteering nationally.
The theme this year is "Making a world of difference" and will run from May 20 to 26.
During the week there will be a particular focus on Wear Orange Wednesday which aims to inspire people to wear orange on May 22. This is in recognition of the efforts of thousands of SES volunteers across Australia who give up their time to serve their communities in floods, storms and other emergencies.
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