VOLUNTEERS form the backbone of Vision Australia, says organisation chief executive Ron Hooton.
Speaking at a morning tea on Monday, Mr Hooton said the organisation was made up of hundreds of volunteers, including 230 in Bendigo.
He said they made a "remarkable contribution" to Vision Australia and its services and never expected anything in return.
"They are the heart of what we do," he said.
They are lovely people and they are making a contribution not for any gain but to serve the community.
"They are lovely people and they are making a contribution not for any gain but to serve the community.
"I think it is fantastic."
Bendigo Vision Australia volunteers were presented with five, 10, 15 and 20 year service badges at the event, as part of National Volunteer Week this week.
Mr Hooton said the organisation aimed to create a strong family atmosphere for its volunteers.
"There is a very strong family atmosphere at the organisation," he said.
"(The volunteers) form a team, they are part of the team.
"They are very much part of the whole fabric of what we do."
Bendigo volunteer Margaret Marshall said it was at the suggestion of a friend that she joined the family at Vision Australia about eight years ago.
The Golden Square resident said she volunteers two days a week and loves it.
"It feels great when you drop someone off at the end of the day and they say thank you," she said.
"It makes me happy and makes it all worthwhile."
People interested in volunteering with Vision Australia should call 5445 5700.