Melissa Hamilton had always thought about volunteering but didn't think she had the spare time to make it work. "With the pressure of 'there's only so many hours in a day' and a myriad of extra-curricular activities on hand in the Blue Mountains, volunteering unfortunately just wasn't making it to the top of the 'To Do List'," she said. But since the Hazelbrook resident started volunteering with Belong Blue Mountains in October she discovered that the role has added to her life, rather than "stolen" time. "I wish I had carved out the time to do it sooner," she said. Tuesday, December 5 is International Volunteer Day which aims to raise awareness of the important role volunteers play in responding to challenges facing the world. The theme for this year's International Volunteer Day is "If Everyone Did". This theme centres on the power of collective action - if everyone volunteered, the world would be a better place. Ms Hamilton said the process to becoming a volunteer was "simple". "I googled a few places and found Belong Blue Mountains offering a variety of services. Not knowing what type of volunteer I wanted to be, it seemed like a good start for me. It definitely turned out to be." She said the "team at Belong were very welcoming and guided me through the opportunities they had available". "Following a friendly chat, they were able to put me into a role that aligned with my own interests. I was eager and happy to do anything but very appreciative that they were matching me to my skill set." Ms Hamilton has volunteered with Belong's "Cracking Crafts" group for seniors which is held every Wednesday in Katoomba and Fridays at Lawson. "We are getting to try out creative activities such as chunky wooden beads cardboard flower installations and Christmas ornament creations," she said. "I quickly learnt however that the few hours each week was not just about the crafts but it was also about the great conversation and getting to have some fun and play - something as adults most of us have not done for a long time," she said. "Perhaps I shouldn't be getting as much out of these groups as I am - they aren't made for me - but I can't help but walk away each week having learnt something, made a new connection and feeling more creative." If you are interested in volunteering or would like to find out more about support offered by Belong Blue Mountains, you can contact Sonda at Belong Blue Mountains on 0413 282 010, drop into a Belong Blue Mountains Neighbourhood Centre in Blaxland, Lawson or Katoomba, or go to www.belongbm.org.au.