Volunteering is so important for the success and survival of any community and in the Fleurieu, thousands of volunteers participate every day in various fields of sport, health, charities and general community involvements.
With a high number of retirees living in this region, many volunteer in more than one organisation and some, even participate with several at any one time. They give their time, energy, knowledge and expertise in so many fields that our community would be a sad place without them.
However, there is a new breed of young volunteer emerging and as some of the aging population find it impossible to participate in community activities any longer, this new young vibrant group are being handed the baton and they are doing an amazing job.
One such volunteer is young mum Olivia Knott, a working wife with a young family, who along with husband Adrian and their three children, helps run their family farm at Waitpinga while still finding the time and enthusiasm to volunteer in many organisations.
Olivia was born at the South Coast District Hospital and loves the region through and through.
She was educated in the district and now her three children Ocean 13, Ilah 10 and Abel 6, are following in their mother's footsteps and they too attend local schools.
Olivia has jumped into help with the plight confronting victims of the Kangaroo Island fires and volunteered in a catering role during the Cudlee Creek fires.
"We live on a small property and I have great empathy for those who have lost everything. Kangaroo Island Mayor Michael Pengilly said there was a need for non-perishable items, so after visiting the Salvation Army, we loaded up a 6x4 trailer and took the items to KI," Olivia said.
"I thank the ADRA op shop in Maude Street for funding Sealink so I could take the trailer to KI."
The Women's and Children's Hospital Beach House project, a beautiful development at Encounter Lakes is now up and running and houses children and their families who have a terminal illnesses.
This project, which lasted for more than three and a half years, was the work of many volunteers who put hundreds of hours into its success and now it's finally completed and families are able to spend precious time with their terminally ill child at the house.
Olivia worked hard on this project from start to finish and she and the team of volunteers, along with the support of South Coast Realty, helped raise more than $60,000 through various fund raising events.
Now the project is finally up and running, Olivia continues to help organise fund raisers to pay for ongoing expenses, maintenance and other relevant costs.
Olivia is also involved, in collaboration with South Coast Realty, in a campaign with the local Salvation Army Red Shield Appeal. They help the needy in this community to find their feet, The funds stay here rather than the head office for redistribution.
Olivia's work in the community never ceases as she assists the ADRA op shop with their marketing, promotion of events, media and publicity.
She also helps Business Victor Harbor with various initiatives and worked hard on the recent street party which was a huge success and entailed a lot of work with local traders and the community.
Olivia will always put her hand up to help out in so many areas like the Port Elliot Show Society.
One can perhaps ask how this young Mum does it all? Then of course there is the small business from the family farm with the flock of 300 chickens that produce quality chemical free eggs to sell to locals.
Olivia has a passion for growing organic herbs and vegetables on the farm, so she's joined a local community garden group to learn the essential skills so that she can make the farm more fruitful.
"Volunteering isn't full time, but can start new connections, conversations and opportunities," Olivia said.
"It can really improve one's mental health and at the same time you're helping others which is very satisfying."
As the old saying rings true, 'if you want something done ask a busy person', so with a community filled with young people like Olivia Knott, the Fleurieu community is assured of a rosy future.