"You can make a significant difference by volunteering one hour a week," Glenn Mackinnon says.
But he goes far beyond that, as does everyone recognised at Wednesday night's 2022 Wodonga Volunteer of the Year Awards, held at Hyphen - Wodonga Library Gallery.
Mr Mackinnon, who helps learner drivers through the Junction Support L2P program, and veteran volunteer firefighter Michael McLinden were dual winners of the Bryan Watson Individual Volunteer of the Year Award.
Wodonga Men's Shed took out Wodonga Volunteer Team of the Year while the Two Cities One Community Award went to Albury Wodonga Regional FoodShare.
Heather Watts, founder of the Border Ovarian Cancer Awareness Group, was named the Mayoral Award Volunteer of the Year.
It was the first time the awards could be presented in person at a gala evening since the start of the pandemic.
Mr Mackinnon said his award win was "fantastic".
"I'm trying to build a better community, which starts by giving up an hour of your time," he said.
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"Life throws us all sorts of challenges.
"I've had quite a few; volunteering puts you in a different head space, giving you a sense of giving back and self-worth."
As a L2P program mentor, he has helped more than 20 young people gain their licence, combining this with his work as a finance specialist at Mercy Connect.
"I've always volunteered in some way, shape or form, no matter what town I lived in," he said.
"I regularly travel also to Nepal and work in the eye clinics."
Mr McLinden has more than 40 years' experience as a volunteer firefighter and continues to be Wodonga West Fire Brigade's most active responder. He has led teams of firefighters at incidents that occur locally, around Victoria and interstate.
Recently retiring as a trustee of Wodonga Lawn Cemetery Trust, he has helped raised money for new facilities and also supported Wodonga Catholic Parish.
The award the two men shared is sponsored by Belvoir Wodonga Rotary Club in honour of long-serving volunteer, Bryan Watson, and includes a $1000 donation to the charity of the winners' choice.
Wodonga mayor Kev Poulton said it was a tough challenge to find winners among so many outstanding nominees.
"Not all heroes wear capes," he said. "Some heroes just quietly get on with helping others, supporting the vulnerable or needy, making our community and sporting organisations even better, or simply lend a helping hand to those who need it most.
"By recognising those people we're saying thank-you on behalf of a grateful community."
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