By Laurie Fisher, Rotary Club of West Footscray
Helen Sully first came to Donations in Kind as a volunteer in 2004: her initial contact was through John Gordon, a long time stalwart of DIK. John used to collect the knitted baby clothing from a group established by Helen and donated to DIK. He encouraged Helen to become directly involved at the store itself. Once there, she soon became a permanent fixture.
There was nothing fixed though about her involvement. As is her nature, she threw herself energetically into the fray and became involved in anything and everything that she could lend a hand to. After a while, she settled in the clothing section, sorting and packing both the new and second hand items. If we had it in stock, she knew and could quickly retrieve it.
Helen’s involvement at DIK was not only limited to volunteering on the regular days. She was always available to assist if a club was visiting after hours or on a Saturday morning. She would also be about if we had a catering function.
She spoke at various women’s Probus clubs about the merits of DIK, spreading the word and encouraging assistance.
She travelled to Fiji in 2010 to assist with the distribution of a container load of items that had been sent from DIK following a natural disaster in Fiji. Such was her appreciation of the value of that donation, she felt compelled to assist further. She financed a container herself in May 2011 and again travelled to Fiji to assist with the distribution.
She has suffered a significant, long term illness for many years which, at times, has laid her low. However, not for long! She would be back at DIK, earlier at times than she should have been. Very little would keep her from helping others. Even at 71 years of age (or thereabouts), she shows little sign of slowing down.
Helen has provided long term, invaluable work at DIK. She has also provided a softer tone at times for many volunteers, always being ready to listen, to help, to crack a joke, to offer advice. The store has been a better place with her presence.
DG Neville John was proud to recognise Helen as a Paul Harris Fellow, by pinning the badge on her at the DIK Christmas Party last Thursday. DIK regulars and volunteers applauded the presentation, and added their congratulations.