Coffs Harbor volunteer explains why community service makes him ‘so happy’ – News Of The Area
KEEN community supporter Darrell Groth, who lives in the Masonic Village Retirement Housing near the Baringa Private Hospital in Coffs Harbor, was collecting bacon and eggs with a team of volunteers as part of ‘a fundraising effort by the Coffs Harbor Lions Club, Coffs RSL Sub-Branch and Legacy.
“Our Saturday morning (October 23) fundraising breakfast on the Marina Walk was a great success,” Darrell told News Of The Area.
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Funds raised go to SV Mystic Sailing for Veterans, a charity program run by former Australian Navy submariner Tex O’Grady and supported by the Coffs Harbor Lions Club, Coffs RSL and Legacy sub-branch.
“This is the brainchild of Tex O’Grady who runs the 50ft SV Mystic for the Sailing Therapy Program launched at Coffs Harbor in June (2021).
“The weather was beautiful… sunny with a light breeze so a lot of people had come out and came to see us.
“We did a lot of cooking.
Darrell lived in Coffs for sixteen years and before that in Macksville for thirteen years.
Born in the bush, he cut his teeth in Sydney.
The reason Darrell volunteers is to keep depression from creeping in; and because it makes him “so happy”.
Having played a role in the community for many years, it was when his relationship broke up almost two years ago that he began to have dark thoughts and was hospitalized for a while.
“I figured I had to keep busy and that’s when I found the RSL sub-branch in Coffs Harbor.
“I was appointed their first auxiliary member.
“I know I’m depressed if I’m not active, so I do something every day.
“Both of my parents are deceased, but I still want them to be proud of what I do.
“I keep a picture of my dad next to my bed and mum loved lavender, so I keep a few small sachets of lavender under my pillow and when I smell that, I feel like mum is always with me.”
Keeping busy for Darrell can mean doing odd jobs for the other residents of his retirement village or exercising his robot dog, Windy, as NOTA wrote before… entertaining people, making people smile.
“If I can make a person happy in one day, it makes me happy and takes me away from feelings of depression.”
By Andrea FERRARI