This year, Tina Pangallo celebrates 20 years working with Disability Sport & Recreation (DSR) in the fundraising department.
In the past 10 years, she has boarded a bus in Altona three times a week to go to work in the Fitzroy office.
But Tina has been fundraising for DSR since the head office was in South Melbourne and known as Wheelchair Sports Victoria. She even remembers what date she started – the 9th of October.
“I’ve always said when I hit my 20 years I might retire, thinking it was next year. Next October. I don’t know what made me look at my contract. I just felt, 20 years? Really? Where has that gone?’ she says, ‘I don’t really want to retire yet, I’m very dedicated to this place.’
The environment is wonderful and great to work in.
‘DSR’s morale has kept me here throughout this time. As everybody knows, in fundraising there is a big turnover, but there are a good handful of people who have been here for as long as I have. My best friend has been here 19 years. There are a couple who have been here 25–26 years as well.’
Tina has seen many come and go during her time, but firmly believes ‘the gift of the gab’ is essential for phone work – which she has very clearly been blessed with. Tina has grown a lot of the DSR database herself over time, and has a strong rapport with many of the people who have donated time and time again.
Gift of the gab.
“I’ve always had the gift of the gab,’ she says, ‘Communication definitely comes easily to me. You need to know how to chat, and you need to know the background of DSR. We have a lot of donors on our database that have donated for years.’
‘If I speak with a donor who is getting on in age and they say they’re not able to help anymore, I will always send a thank you card, for all the kids that they have helped in the years past. If I know something like that is happening, or if somebody has passed away, I send a sympathy card. I am dedicated in all our sponsors, because there are some truly amazing people who have donated year after year.’
‘When we meet the fundraising goals, to see where the money goes is fantastic. If you’re passionate about what you’re saying, people will reciprocate. The programs we run throughout the year are fantastic, and of course, it does get to people’s hearts. When it comes to young kids, especially.’
I don’t know if I want to see the day when I have to retire.
‘I’m sure you can tell I’m bloody dedicated to this place,’ she says, ‘When I retire, because that’s what’s going to happen when I finish at DSR, it’ll be very sad. Especially if the team of people I work with now are still here. It could be next year, it could be the year after, but I hope there are a few good years left.’
‘This organisation is wonderful. Everyone has seen my children grow up, my daughter’s wedding, I have received overwhelming support when family members have passed away.’
‘The best thing about working here? There are too many to name. You get your bad days, but 99 per cent of the time, it’s a good day,’ she says, ‘Ultimately, to have the opportunity to raise money for DSR has been unbelievably rewarding.’
~ Article written by Sidney Shaw.