IN MORE than 23 years of reporting for regional newspapers, I've been privileged to meet countless people whose community work is inspiring.
They do indeed make this world a much better place, and rarely do they seek the limelight.
In this week's Advertiser, we meet foster mum Donella (page 5) and hear about her selfless devotion to newborn children in need of a safe, loving home.
Almost 8000 children are in out-of-home care across the state - a staggering and shameful statistic.
Without foster carers, these disadvantaged children would face an unfortunate start to life.
Donella is devoted to the children she cares for and appreciates the help she receives from the organisation Foundations Care, but sees a need for more support for foster families to attract new mums and dads into the service.
To welcome 18 foster children into her home over the last six years - all aged under four years of age - Donella clearly has a special heart.
While journalists and photographers are endlessly advised never to work with children and animals, we often do both - thankfully with no ill effects.
Wildlife carer Beverley Clarke was another good-hearted lady who grabbed our attention (page 8) this week.
She's been taking care of possums, birds and other rescued critters for 25 years as a volunteer.
No nonsense, resourceful people like Donella and Beverley contribute much to the communities in which they live.
They demonstrate that self-sacrifice doesn't need to be a grim prospect - it can be both uplifting and enjoyable.
It is their influence that has the potential to make a major impact in the community.
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