Stamp room
Jacqueline and Helen

Volunteers make an amazing contribution to organisations and communities around the world. Mary MacKillop Today is incredibly lucky to have a community of dedicated and passionate people who volunteer to support its work as a not-for-profit ministry of the Sisters of Saint Joseph.

One inspiring group of volunteers for Mary MacKillop Today are helping to change the world through used stamps… and they have now reached over $500,000 in stamp sales! Sr Helen Saunders shares their story…

Almost 40 years ago we started selling used stamps inspired by Sr Joan Humphries. She was living at Bellambi and used her time trimming, sorting, and selling stamps, with all the proceeds going to the Josephite Mission in Peru. When I arrived in Bellambi as a postulant in 1987, Joan shared details of this loved ministry with me.

By 2001, Joan was in care at Hunters Hill and I was the Pastoral Associate at Marrickville Parish. I received a call from her asking me to visit as a matter of urgency. During that time Joan told me she was dying and that she wanted the stamp ministry to continue after her death and would I take over from her? She died in November of that year.

As they say, ‘the rest is history’. I remember at the end of 2001 I was amazed that we had raised $1,330. Just a few weeks ago that figure reached $500,000!  What an amazing effort from all those involved down the years.

Our incredible network of volunteers collate, trim, and sort hundreds of thousands of stamps each year. Volunteers donate stamps and often encourage their friends, family and neighbours to gather any stamps they receive to contribute to the cause.

The gathering and preparation of stamps requires patience and endurance, and our volunteers embody the spirit of St Mary MacKillop by seeing a need that they are able to assist with in their own way and giving of themselves in support of others.

There are over one million stamp collectors in Australia looking for stamps for their collections which allows the donated stamps our volunteers work with to be sold at auction. Almost $200,000 has been raised from these kindly donated stamps in the past four years.

Some of the key volunteers include John Altham who sources stamps from ‘everywhere’, Brian Wicks, Helen Bache and Jacqueline Oudin who prepare them for sale.

I look after the administration side of things, but we have many cutters, sorters and donors who have and continue to help in various ways. Our biggest year was 2018 when we raised the huge amount of $68,000.

Thank you all! Little did I know what I was getting myself into back in 2001. It has been a pleasure for me to be involved over those years and on behalf of the poor of Peru ‘Gracias’.

The team is now on a mission to reach $1,000,000. Stamps are getting fewer, so goodness knows how many years we are looking at!!

In the meantime, keep sending any used stamps, albums, first day covers to Stamps, Locked Bag 3031, Burwood, NSW 1805.

Helen Saunders rsj

If you would like to find out more about how your stamps could help change lives, or for volunteering opportunities, visit