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5 Ways to Complete Your High School Community Service Hours This Summer

Posted By Jessica Huynh, Outreach Summer Student, August 1, 2016
Updated: July 29, 2016

High School Community Service Hours”

 

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! As we enter August sun-kissed and carefree, the realization of another school year drawing close reminds us of those high school community service hours we (still) have left to complete! Was volunteering on your summer to do list?

Summer is a great time to meet interesting people, develop new skills, and attend events you may have otherwise not known about. Whether you have 5 more hours or the full 40 to knock-off, here’s a list of summer event opportunities that are geared towards high school students.

Slather on some sunscreen and round up your friend, summer isn’t over and neither is your chance to squeeze in some community service! We present to you 5 Ways to Complete Your High School Community Service Hours This Summer:

 

Belmont House - Summerfest 

1. SPECIAL EVENTS VOLUNTEER - SUMMERFEST

Organization: Belmont House


Post Link
: http://www.volunteertoronto.ca/networking/apply_now.aspx?view=2&id=311453


Date needed
: Wednesday, 10 August, 2016 (10:30 AM- 3 PM)


Location
: Downtown Toronto – 55 Belmont Street near Bay and Bloor

It’s not Bestival or WayHome, but Summerfest is a celebrative event for elderly residents of the Belmont House. Belmont House is a charity that has been creating a caring environment for seniors for over 150 years! This special event is looking to take on 30 volunteers to assist with their interactive event. Bringing together residents, families, and tenants, it promises to provide a day of food and fun! As a volunteer, your responsibilities will include:

-       Helping run games

-       Interacting with residents

-       Serving food &

-       Completing various assigned tasks

Interested? Email Purni Rahman, the Development and Volunteer Coordinator at prahman@belmonthouse.comor call 416-964-9231 ext. 220! No resume or cover letter mentioned in posting.

 

 

Habitat For Humanity Build 

2. BUILD SITE VOLUNTEER HOST

Organization: Habitat for Humanity GTA

Post Link: http://www.volunteertoronto.ca/networking/apply_now.aspx?view=2&id=379235


Date(S) needed
: 11, 17, 18, & 25 August 2016 (8-4p)


Location
: Scarborough – Birchmount Road & Brampton


Who doesn’t love free refreshments, lunch, and t-shirts? In addition to these lovely incentives, your dedication as a Build Site Volunteer Host will contribute to helping provide low-income families the opportunity to build and buy affordable, quality home. As of April 2014, Habitat for Humanity GTA has built over 270 affordable within Toronto!  Through special events occurring throughout August, your friendly and professional attitude will be of assistance to the organization. As a volunteer, your responsibilities will include:

-       Supporting registrations

-       Setting up breakfast, lunch, and fun activities for volunteer groups

-       Taking photographs and distributing prizes

-       Cleaning up and preparing for the next event

-       And more!


Super Car Sunday 

3. SUPER CAR SUNDAY VOLUNTEER (VARIOUS ROLES)

Organization: Women’s College Hospital Foundation

Post Links:

1.     VIP AREA:
http://www.volunteertoronto.ca/networking/apply_now.aspx?view=2&id=375577

2.     SUNDAY TEAR DOWN ASSISTANT: http://www.volunteertoronto.ca/networking/apply_now.aspx?view=2&id=375423

3.     SET UP ASSISTANT: http://www.volunteertoronto.ca/networking/apply_now.aspx?view=2&id=375416

4.     ADMIN SUPPORT:
http://www.volunteertoronto.ca/networking/apply_now.aspx?view=2&id=375563

5.     MAIN GATE HOST:
http://www.volunteertoronto.ca/networking/apply_now.aspx?view=2&id=375443

6.     BBQ PREPARATION: http://www.volunteertoronto.ca/networking/apply_now.aspx?view=2&id=375441


Date needed
: Sunday, August 21, 2016 (various times), Orientation on Tuesday, 9 August 2016 @ Women’s College Hospital (various times)


Location
: Downtown Toronto – 11 Sunlight Park Road near Queen and Broadview


This opportunity will drive you wild! Supercar Sunday is an annual event presented by BMW Toronto and Saturns Drives. It features over 100 exotic and expensive cars from brands such as Lamborghini and Ferrari. All proceeds will be donated to the Women’s College Hospital’s Orthopedic Surgery program. They are currently looking to take on a wide range volunteers to fill their open positions. Please see posting links above to find out more about what each position entails!

Resumes can be emailed to Todd.Perry@wchospital.ca with the subject title: Supercar Sunday *POSITION NAME*.

 

Back to school event volunteer 

4. BACK TO SCHOOL EVENT VOLUNTEER


Organization
: New Circles Community Services


Post Link
: http://www.volunteertoronto.ca/networking/apply_now.aspx?view=2&id=223865


Date needed
: August 27, 2016 (9:45-1pm or 1-4pm)


Location
: North York – 161 Bartley Drive near Eglinton Avenue East and Bermondsey Road


Going back to school is a great excuse to pick out new wardrobe staples and replace old, outgrown pieces. However, not everyone has access to basic necessities many of us take for granted. New Circles Community Services is a non-profit organization whose core mission is to provide basic necessities to those living in poverty, primarily through adequate clothing and support. At their annual Teen Back to School Event, they are looking for 6 volunteers to help support their mission. As a volunteer, your responsibilities will include:

-       Helping teens shop

-       Organizing and tidying clothing areas

-       Checking out the garments

-       Giving out new backpacks

Interested? Email poppy@newcircles.caNo resume or cover letter mentioned in posting. 


Phone Campaign Volunteer 

6. PHONE CAMPAIGN VOLUNTEER


Organization
: Community Living Toronto


Post Link
: http://www.volunteertoronto.ca/networking/apply_now.aspx?view=2&id=380118


Date needed
: 8-12 & 15-19 August 2016 (Anytime from 10 AM- 4 PM)

Location: 20 Spadina Road, Bloor and Spadina


Had enough sun or nurturing your sunburn? Phone Campaign Volunteer might be the position for you. As part of Community Living Toronto’s Donor Thank-a-thon, you will work alongside the fundraising department to make phone calls to thank those who financially donated towards their organization. This opportunity is perfect for students who want to gain customer service experience in an office setting! Community Living Toronto supports those living with intellectual disability find accessible ways to live within their community.

They are looking to take on 2-3 volunteers. As a volunteer, your responsibilities will include:

-       Having good phone and customer service manner

-       Showcasing strong English communication skills

-       Being able to follow a script and training guidelines

-       Speaking clearly on the phone

Full day volunteers will be provided a lunch! Interested? Contact Yulia Prudova, Volunteer Coordinator, at yprudova@cltoronto.ca or at 416-968-0650 Ext 1209

 

If the opportunities above are not of your interest, be sure to check out all our postings at volunteertoronto.ca/opportunities. We recommend leaving all the spaces empty and filtering your search by clicking on ‘1. Suitable for Youth 14-17.’

Now get out there and spread some summer volunteer lovin’! 


Attend any of our free information sessions on volunteering in Toronto!

Jessica Huynh

Jessica Huynh is a Creative Industries Student at Ryerson University, specializing in Storytelling in Media and Curatorial Practices. She is interested in visual culture and stimulating intellectual conversation through language and design. View her online portfolio or Connect with her on LinkedIn!


 

 

Tags:  40 High School Community service hours  40 hours community service  High school volunteer hours  Teen volunteering  Volunteer hours  Volunteer in Toronto 

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What's It Like To Volunteer For... A Special Event?

Posted By Melissa Haughton, Volunteer Guest Blogger, July 18, 2016
Updated: July 15, 2016

2016 YWCA Women of Distinction Awards - Volunteer 
Photo courtesy of the YWCA. View on Flickr

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Have you ever dreamed of helping bring a big event to life? Does the idea of organizing a star-studded gala for a good cause fill you with excitement? Then consider volunteering as part of a special events team! Whether it’s a small appreciation party, or a major international fundraiser, at many events volunteers make sure events go off without a hitch.

Angela Ho, volunteer on the YWCA Women of Distinction Awards 
 Angela Ho

We chatted with Angela Ho, a volunteer with YWCA Toronto about her role as a Production Assistant for the organization’s annual Women of Distinction Awards.

 

 

      



 

 

What’s the name of the organization you volunteer for and what is your role there?

I’ve volunteered with the YWCA Toronto, an organization that advocates for women and girls, for three years. I worked as a Production Assistant for the annual Women of Distinction Awards and gala. This event recognizes outstanding women who create new opportunities and strengthen the voices of women and girls in the community.

 

How would you describe your current volunteer role?

As a Production Assistant, I provide behind-the-scenes support for the gala. I work backstage to organize awards for distribution and provide stage directions to presenters.

 

Was training provided for your role?

Volunteers are required to attend a 1-2 hour orientation session before the event. During this meeting, volunteers meet other team members, receive a behind-the-scenes event overview, and Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) training.

 

What is the time commitment involved?

The time commitment involved for this role is about 4 hours, including the pre-event orientation and activities on the day of the gala. People often assume that volunteering requires a long-term commitment. However, there are many short-term opportunities like this one that are still extremely important.

 

What skills and characteristics do you feel contribute most to success in your volunteering?

This role requires organization, patience, and attention to detail. I think the ability to be personable and detail-oriented matters more than any specific technical skill.

To be successful as a Production Assistant, a volunteer must be able to follow directions while taking initiative to ensure things are executed correctly. You must be comfortable working in the dark (literally as you’re behind the stage!) and willing to help others make the most of their moment to shine!

 

What have you learned from your volunteering? What has been surprising or challenging?

I’ve developed a strong appreciation for the amount of teamwork and time it takes to make an event run smoothly. That being said, it's also important to be flexible and able to problem solve quickly. Despite all the planning that goes into an event, there will always be unexpected challenges!

 

What advice do you have for anyone looking to do this type of volunteering? 

Be open to volunteering in roles that are out of your comfort zone, you'll learn skills and meet many different people. Also, don’t be afraid to ask questions!


Attend any of our free information sessions on volunteering in Toronto!

 

Melissa Haughton is a recent graduate who currently works in marketing. She is passionate about writing, cats and helping out in the community. You can connect with her on LinkedIn.

 

Tags:  Awards Ceremony Volunteer  Event Volunteering  One-Day Volunteer Opportunities  short-term volunteering  YWCA 

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Ask Kelly - What Is A Reference? Who Would Make A Good Reference?

Posted By Kelly Devries, Community Engagement Coordinator, July 11, 2016
Updated: July 8, 2016
 Ask Kelly Banner

 

“Ask Kelly” is our blog series aimed at answering your most pressing volunteer questions. As Volunteer Toronto’s Community Engagement Coordinator, Kelly DeVries is our in-house expert on all things volunteering. Got a burning question? She’s here to help!

Submit your question to info@volunteertoronto.ca - subject line: Ask Kelly


Estimated reading time: 2 minutes



Dear Kelly,

 

I am interested in volunteering in an office environment, and I see several postings say that I will need to provide references. What is a reference? Who would be a good a reference?

Thanks!

Singh

 



Hello Singh,

Thank you so much for your email and your interest in volunteering. You ask a great question that we receive often. When you are going through the application process for a volunteer position, if the organization is interested in offering you the position, the organization may ask for references.

References are people that can answer questions about your character, your work ethic, your skills and how well you will do the role. Organizations ask for references as another way of ensuring you’re a good fit for the position.

When choosing who will be a reference for you, think about someone who knows you well and can speak to your work-related qualities.  Ideally a reference is someone who has known you in a supervisory role including a past employer, volunteer coordinator, teacher, professor, landlord, caseworker or a coach. If this isn’t possible, for a volunteer position, you could also include references who are friends. It is usually okay if your references are not in Canada. You should not include family members as references for volunteer positions.

If you aren’t sure, don’t be afraid to ask the organization what kind of reference they are looking for. A professional reference would be someone you worked with, and a personal reference would be a friend.

Also, volunteering can be a great way to gain a new reference. If you do your role well, you may be able to have the volunteer coordinator or staff supervisor you work with be a future reference for you.

Hope that helps Singh. Best of luck as you pursue an office volunteer position, 


Kelly 

 

Kelly Devries, Community Engagement CoordinatorKelly DeVries is Volunteer Toronto's Community Engagement Coordinator. She coordinates a team of hardworking volunteers who represent Volunteer Toronto at community events. She is the voice of our Volunteer Times newsletter and assists the many events and programs we organize to inspire people in Toronto to volunteer.

Tags:  volunteer  volunteer interview  volunteer reference  volunteer screening  volunteering to find work 

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Meet Our Team: Claire, Louroz & Jenn

Posted By Roxanne English, Community Engagement Assistant, July 4, 2016
Updated: June 30, 2016

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Here at Volunteer Toronto we are pleased to introduce our Grassroots Growth Project team, who have been working so hard to serve individuals involved in volunteer-run non-profit organizations in Ontario. By divvying up responsibilities Claire, Jenn and Louroz are able to help non-profits who are looking for resources to help them achieve their individual missions and grow their organizations.

Introducing our Grassroots Growth Team!

 


Claire McWatt - Volunteer Toronto

WHO: Claire McWatt 

ROLE: Project Coordinator

# YEARS AT VT: 1 year 3 months

PLACE OF BIRTH: Toronto, Ontario

FAVOURITE FOOD: Sushi

WHAT DO YOU DO AT VT? As Project Coordinator, I oversee the development of the Grassroots Growth Project. I do a bit of everything, from resource development, to workshop facilitation, to administration and outreach. I also manage project partnerships, and develop the Peer Mentorship program within the platform.

WHO: Louroz Mercader

ROLE: Community Outreach Coordinator

# MONTHS AT VT: 10

PLACE OF BIRTH: Manila, Phillipines

FAVOURITE FOOD: Cookies

WHAT DO YOU DO AT VT? I use my public relations skills to promote awareness of the Grassroots Growth project, find amazing volunteer leaders, and organize workshops and events that support our city's grassroots groups.


 

Louroz Mercader - Volunteer Toronto


Jenn Jozwiak - Volunteer Toronto

 

WHO: Jenn Jozwiak

ROLE: Education Coordinator

# MONTHS AT VT: 9

PLACE OF BIRTH: Winnipeg, Manitoba

FAVOURITE FOOD: Avocado

WHAT DO YOU DO AT VT? With the support of my team, I develop the learning materials for the project. This includes researching, writing, and designing training workshops, printed materials, and online content. I also deliver in-person workshops, which I love because I get to talk to the amazing grassroots organizations!


What do you like most about your job?

CLAIRE: I work with an outstanding team who has helped me develop my volunteer management skills so I can aid so many incredible grassroots groups every day. I am humbled to get a chance to engage change-makers, activists and community builders from all different backgrounds. 


  Claire McWatt - Grassroots Growth

Claire presenting to a room of grassroots leaders

 

What was your most enjoyable volunteer experience?

JENN: Between 2004 and 2010, I organized a volunteer-run horror film festival with some of my friends. It also meant a lot that once the festival was established, it became an incentive for people to get out there and make their own films. Some of the filmmakers who met at our festival formed a collective, and went on to make award-winning movies. We think that’s pretty neat.

Winnipeg Short Film Festival 
Poster from  Jenn's Horror Film Festival

 

What's one of your hidden talents most people don't know about?

LOUROZ: I can lift real heavy things. I hit to the gym at least 5 times a week!


Louroz Mercader playing basketball

Louroz and his muscles

 

 

What's the most unusual item in your desk drawer?

CLAIRE: My desk doesn't have drawers, but I do keep a mini sewing kit on my desk because you never know. I originally brought it for a specific thing, but it stayed because I ended up needing it here and there. Very handy!

Claire McWatt's Sewing Kit

Claire's sewing kit

 

LOUROZ: A paper doll of myself with different matching outfits to suit his mood that my talented friend created for me as a gift.

 Louroz Mercader paper doll
Louroz as a paper doll!

 

JENN: I have an 18” figure of Leatherface from the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre next to my computer.



 

 

Stay tuned in August for our next feature!

Roxanne EnglishRoxanne English supports Volunteer Toronto’s community outreach by coordinating events, delivering presentations on how to volunteer, and representing Volunteer Toronto at events across this city. With Roxanne’s help, we’ll be able to provide more people with information about volunteering in Toronto.

Tags:  Charity work  Non-profit staff  Volunteer Toronto Staff  What's it like to work for Volunteer Toronto 

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What's It Like To Volunteer On...A Non-profit Board?

Posted By Melissa Haughton, Volunteer Guest Blogger, June 20, 2016
Updated: June 17, 2016

Board members meeting 

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Are you a professional looking to volunteer your time and skills for a cause you feel passionate about?  Are you looking for a volunteer role with more accountability that leverages your knowledge and experience? Are you looking to take your strategic thinking, communication, and planning skills to the next level?

If any of these scenarios resonate with you, non-profit board opportunities may be an excellent next step. Every non-profit has a group of volunteers know as a Board of Directors who collectively oversee the organization’s mission, strategic objectives, and financial and human resources. Whilst board roles can be a great leadership volunteer opportunity, they can be significantly different based on the size and structure of the non-profit organization and tend to require both a long-term commitment and a notable dedication of time and effort.

Rhema Kang 
 Rhema Kang

We spoke to Toronto lawyer, Rhema Kang, about her experience sitting on the board of the Chinese Canadian National Council of Toronto (CCNCTO), an organization of Chinese Canadians in the City of Toronto that promotes equity, social justice, inclusive civic participation, and respect for diversity.

 

 

 

 

How long have you volunteered with CCNCTO?

I have volunteered as a director for the past year, prior to that I spent 3 years on the board of English Language Tutoring for the Ottawa Community (ELTOC), a non-profit organization that provides home tutoring for adult immigrants who cannot attend regular English programs.

 

How would you describe your board role?

As a director, I attend monthly board meetings to decide on governance, funding, engagement, activities, and more. My role mainly focuses on the ‘big picture’ of the organization, although I sometimes get involved in the day-to-day aspects.

 

Was training provided for your role?

There was no training provided, but my legal background has definitely helped me understand the duties and responsibilities of directors, as well as the laws that govern non-profit organizations. However, I think anyone who brings passion and a willingness to learn and invest time into an organization can succeed as a director of a board.

 

What is the time commitment involved on your board?

About 10 hours per month, mostly spent in board meetings and occasionally at events with CCNCTO members.

 

What common misconceptions do people have about board volunteering?

People often assume you need to be an established professional to become a director of a non-profit board. While this may be true for some large non-profits, there are many small charities looking for committed directors with diverse talents and perspectives. I joined my first board when I was 24 years old, and most of the other directors were middle-aged or older. There was an opportunity for me to use my experience with social media to help the organization, which is something the other directors did not have much familiarity with. So diverse skills are definitely in demand.

 

What do you like most about volunteering for Chinese Canadian National Council of Toronto (CCNCTO)?

CCNCTO is an advocacy organization that was originally founded to seek redress from the Chinese Head Tax imposed on Chinese migrant workers. Since then, CCNCTO has evolved into an organization that promotes equity, civil participation and respect for diversity. I've had the opportunity to play a role in defining the mission and vision of the organization as it goes forward. I'm encouraged to see the ways in which the organization sends a powerful message to members of the Chinese community - I was recently part of an event at City Hall where many Chinese seniors were excited to be taking selfies with Mayor John Tory!

 

What advice do you have for anyone interested in volunteering on a non-profit board? 

Get to know the organization before becoming a board member. If you’re already involved with the organization as a volunteer, you'll know the day-to-day operations, as well as the challenges and opportunities. This knowledge will make your contribution as a board member that much stronger. Start with a small organization you're familiar with, and this will open up opportunities to work with other boards down the road.

 

Becoming a Board Member CTA

 

 

Melissa Haughton is a recent graduate who currently works in marketing. She is passionate about writing, cats and helping out in the community. You can connect with her on LinkedIn.

 

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Meet Our Team: Camara Chambers

Posted By Roxanne English, Community Engagement Assistant, June 13, 2016
Updated: June 13, 2016

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

This may surprise you but Volunteer Toronto doesn't run itself (insert gasp here!). As Canada's largest volunteer centre, we operate on the people power of 8 full-time staff, 5 contract staff, 60 + volunteers and an abundance of passion.  

Our team comes from places all over the country and the world; Winnipeg, PEI, England, Sri Lanka, USA and Grenada to name a few. Each one of us draws from our own unique experiences and contributes our skills in the hopes of building a more caring city. 

In this new monthly blog series, we'd like to give you the opportunity to meet and learn more about some of these people. 

First up...our Director of Community Engagement


 

WHO: Camara Chambers

ROLE: Director of Community Engagement

# YEARS AT VT: 4

PLACE OF BIRTH: London, England

FAVOURITE SONG: Whitney Houston's "I Wanna Dance with Somebody"

FAVOURITE PIECE OF ADVICE: “There’s no such thing as can’t.” This is something my mother would always say. You’re only limited by your own beliefs and so the moment you degrade yourself, and tell yourself it’s not possible, then it isn’t. You have just as much ability and potential as anyone else.

 

What do you do at Volunteer Toronto?

I oversee all of the work Volunteer Toronto does to encourage Torontonians to volunteer.  Our Community Engagement team promotes volunteering in the community and provides info and tips on volunteering to make finding the right role easy. My role involves managing the team, our annual plans, campaigns and budgets, writing applications for grants and ensuring we're working as efficiently and effectively as possible.

 

Camara Chambers - Volunteer Toronto 

 Camara, leading one of the first Trailblazer Series

 

 

What do you like most about your job?

 

The variety of my role! It's fun to do a job that uses a wide range of skills like marketing, presenting, supervising staff, writing reports, researching, problem solving, event planning...and many more.


  Camara Chambers at Volunteer Toronto volunteer appreciation

Camara (right) with Youth Auditor Seher (left)
at our volunteer appreciation event 

 

What was your most enjoyable volunteer experience?

My favourite volunteer experience was with a youth drop-in program at St. Felix Centre, a local community centre in downtown Toronto. The program was for children and youth in the local neighbourhood and provided them with a safe space to hang out with their friends on Friday nights. I volunteered there for a year and a half and loved it. The experience was so rewarding and I met some amazing people there who I am still friends with today.

 

What's one of your hidden talents most people don't know about?

I recently started aerial yoga, which is a cross between circus arts and yoga, so that's a secret talent not many people know I have.


Camara Chambers Aerial Yoga

Camara taking part in Aerial Yoga

 

Of all your favourite foods, which is one that you would find hardest to give up for the rest of your life and why?

I love anything with coconut in it, so I'd find that difficult to give up.

 

What's the most unusual item in your desk drawer?

Hemp hearts. I'm a bit of a health food enthusiast and I've recently started eating hemp hearts which are raw shelled hemp seeds. They're tastier than they sound, are great sprinkled on my morning cereal and are full of protein! 

  

Hemp Hearts 

Camara's hemp hearts


Stay tuned in July for our next feature!

Roxanne EnglishRoxanne English supports Volunteer Toronto’s community outreach by coordinating events, delivering presentations on how to volunteer, and representing Volunteer Toronto at events across this city. With Roxanne’s help, we’ll be able to provide more people with information about volunteering in Toronto.

Tags:  Meet the Volunteer Toronto staff  Volunteer Toronto Staff  VT Staff  Who works at Volunteer Toronto 

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Ask Kelly - How Do I Find Volunteer Opportunities For My 12 Year-Old?

Posted By Kelly Devries, Community Engagement Coordinator, June 7, 2016
 Ask Kelly Banner

 

“Ask Kelly” is our new blog series aimed at answering your most pressing volunteer questions. As Volunteer Toronto’s Community Engagement Coordinator, Kelly DeVries is our in-house expert on all things volunteering. Got a burning question? She’s here to help!

Submit your question to info@volunteertoronto.ca - subject line: Ask Kelly


Estimated reading time: 2 minutes



Dear Kelly,

 

Are there any volunteer opportunities for kids? My 12 year old son really wants to do some volunteer work, but has been told he has to be 16. I would be happy to attend with him as well.

 

Thanks!

Kathy 

 



Hello Kathy,

Thank you for your email. I am so glad to hear your son is interested in volunteering! To get involved in the community at that age can truly set a pattern of life-long behaviour!

While some organizations accept volunteers who are as young as 14, it can be tough for children younger than high school age to find volunteer opportunities, and what is available depends on the organization’s volunteer policies. Most opportunities for children around 12 years old will request that they be accompanied by an adult.

We, at Volunteer Toronto, have tried to make it easy for you by combining family-friendly opportunities into one category.

 

To find suitable options:

1)     Visit www.volunteertoronto.ca/opportunities

2)     Leave all search options blank

3)     Search by Category “2. Suitable for Families (Parents & Kids)”

 

You’ll find that many of these opportunities involve assisting with various special events across the city. These can include helping with fundraisers, 5K walks or runs, or assisting with festivals among many other fun things. Another popular family volunteer experience is to deliver meals to seniors or those who aren’t able to leave their homes.

Thank you for your question and I wish you and your son a wonderful time volunteering,

Kelly 

 

Kelly Devries, Community Engagement CoordinatorKelly DeVries is Volunteer Toronto's Community Engagement Coordinator. She coordinates a team of hardworking volunteers who represent Volunteer Toronto at community events. She is the voice of our Volunteer Times newsletter and assists the many events and programs we organize to inspire people in Toronto to volunteer.

Tags:  can children volunteer?  volunteering under 16  Volunteering with your family 

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Four Ways Volunteering Is Changing

Posted By Neera Shukla, Volunteer Blogger, June 1, 2016
Updated: May 31, 2016

 

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

What thoughts come to your mind when you think about your perfect volunteer role?  What would make it fun and meaningful for you?

At Volunteer Toronto, we’re always hearing about what kind of volunteer roles people are looking for and it's exciting to see how significantly interests have changed over the past few decades. Today's volunteers are autonomous, tech-savvy and mobile; they are students, newcomers, professionals (young and mid-career), or seniors. We know that altruism remains one of the reasons people volunteer but there are a host of other motivators.

 

1. You Crave Flexibility

Maybe not this kind of extreme flexibility but we recognize that you want the freedom to create your own volunteer opportunities with organizations that connect with your values. You want to offer up a specific set of skills versus committing to pre-defined opportunities.                 

 

2. You Don't Want To Over Commit


Volunteers are asking for more short-term or project-based opportunities. We understand that you are busy and often deal with shifting priorities in your life.  For some, certain times of the year are busier than others making it difficult for you to commit long-term.

3. You Are Goal Oriented

Today, many volunteers want to give back to help others but also want to gain from volunteering. You might want to learn a skill or acquire a specific type of experience that will ultimately help you with career momentum. For instance, you might be a newcomer wanting to build a network, or might be interested in changing careers and are using volunteering as a stepping stone.


4. You Think Outside The Box

You may want to help with an entirely different set of tasks than what you do in your work-life. For example, as an accountant you may not want to volunteer with numbers, but instead put your artistic skills to good use. Perhaps you want to explore a hobby? Find more balance in your life? Create a mini-escape from your day job?

 

Because of these changes, we’ve designed an annual event that allows you to create the type of volunteer opportunity you want, making volunteering mutually beneficial!

Our Craft Your Change event happens once a year and is for professionals who want to offer their skills to non-profits. You get to decide how you volunteer and how much time you want to give. We’ll bring together 20+ non-profits who are willing to be flexible and explore opportunities collaboratively with you and all you need to do is turn up and be ready to mingle!

 

Neera Shukla is a learning and development professional focused on developing training programs on a variety of topics including leadership and professional development programs. When not working, she can be found on hiking trails, working out, reading, paddling, racing or volunteering.

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What's It Like To Volunteer For...The Egale Youth OUTreach Counselling Centre

Posted By Samantha Glave, Volunteer Guest Blogger, May 24, 2016
Updated: May 24, 2016

 

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Population Served: Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer/questioning, and two-spirited (LGBTIQ2S) children and youth up to age 29 who are homeless, unstably housed, or at risk of homelessness or who are in need of a space in which to feel welcome and supported

When homophobia, biphobia, transphobia, violence and harassment combine with the experience of homelessness and other stressors, they take their toll on mental health and overall well-being. The Egale Youth OUTreach Counselling Centre (EYO) provides direct services to LGBTIQ2S youth to help address these challenges.

So, what part can you play in this organization?  According to Jesse Hatch, a Peer Resource Worker with the EYO, it can be as simple as playing a game of Uno or watching a movie! She states that peer support can come in uncommon but valid forms.  Below, Jesse shares her experience volunteering at the EYO.

Describe your role as a Peer Resource Worker.

JH: My role is focused on offering peer support and aiding in the preparation of fresh, nourishing meals and snacks for our service-users. I strive to create meaningful, healthy relationships with the youth and facilitate referrals to relevant and desired services whenever possible.

 

What is the time commitment involved?

JH: A regular shift at Egale is 4 hours weekly during the drop in hours of
3 p.m.-7p.m. On average, I volunteer for 16 hours a month. 

 

What type of training were you provided with?

JH: Egale provides informative and thorough training before you enter the space to volunteer. The training familiarizes volunteers with the appropriate use of language, boundaries and etiquette when interacting with service-users and is delivered through a harm reduction lens.

 

What skills and characteristics do you feel contribute most to success in your role?

JH: Compassion and patience are crucial when interacting with people in crisis. It is important to be mindful of boundaries when interacting with service-users, while striving to provide the highest level of empathic support and care. For example, using inclusive language or actively engaging when an individual is relaying a personal experience or asking for your advice.

 

What have you learned from this volunteering experience?

JH: This experience has taught me the value of self-awareness and mindfulness when interacting with new people. Volunteering at the EYO reminds me that we should unpack what we bring into our interactions with others and examine the cursory assumptions we make about people.

 

What advice do you have to give to anyone looking to do this type of volunteering?

JH: Critically analyze why you are drawn to a position before applying. You will likely thrive in this position if you feel like you might be suited for it, are drawn to it by personal experiences with queerness, have an interest in intersectionality and trauma-informed care and have a desire to help your community.

If you are interested in working with an organization with the following values:


·      LGBTIQ2S Affirming

·      Client Centric Service

·      Youth Empowerment

·      Strengths-Based Approach

·      Anti-Racism/Anti-Oppression

·      Non-Judgment

·      Community and Collaboration


Contact Egale at 416-964-7887 or visit the Egale Website to learn about the various volunteer roles available and read some Frequently Asked Questions about the organization. 

 

Samantha Glave is a writer and editor whose work is regularly published on the Ontario Public Service’s intranet. When she’s not writing, you can find her watching science-fiction, doing kettle bell workouts or reading the latest research on raising the ‘strong-willed’ child. She lives in Toronto with her husband and their six-year old son. 

You can find her on LinkedIn

Tags:  Human Rights  LGBT Rights  Volunteer  Volunteer in Toronto  Volunteering  volunteering in Toronto  What's It Like To Volunteer  Youth Support 

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Ask Kelly - How Do I Find Out About Volunteering For Special Events?

Posted By Kelly Devries, Community Engagement Coordinator, May 16, 2016
Updated: May 13, 2016
 Ask Kelly Banner

 

“Ask Kelly” is our new blog series aimed at answering your most pressing volunteer questions. As Volunteer Toronto’s Community Engagement Coordinator, Kelly DeVries is our in-house expert on all things volunteering. Got a burning question? She’s here to help!

Submit your question to info@volunteertoronto.ca - subject line: Ask Kelly


Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Dear Kelly,

 

My birthday is coming up soon, and I would love to spend the day volunteering for something fun! How do I find out about volunteering for special events?

Thanks so much,

LaKeisha

 

 



Hey LaKeisha,

What a wonderful email and question to receive. I am so glad you are interested in spending your birthday volunteering for a great cause! As we enter the spring and summer you’ll find there are many special events looking for volunteers.

Some examples of current special event volunteer opportunities include setting up for large events, assisting at registration, taking photos, cheering on runners at a race, planting trees, serving meals,  performing at festivals and so much more!

The easiest way to find special event volunteer opportunities is to:

1. Go to www.volunteertoronto.ca/opportunities.



2. Leave all search categories blank except under “Type of Position” select “One Day or Less."

3. Click “Search."


 

4. Your results will bring up all Special Event Volunteer opportunities currently in our database.



5. You can then read through and choose positions that interest you. By clicking on them you’ll learn more information about the position.


Once you've settled on a position that fits your interest, time and location, please contact the organization directly either by email or phone depending on the information they posted in the position’s details.  The contact information is generally listed at the bottom of the posting.

TIP: It is always best to apply to more than one volunteer position to widen your chances of getting a position.

I also encourage you to create a profile on our website so you can receive our Volunteer Times newsletter to learn more about volunteer opportunities across the city. 

If you need any additional help feel free to call a Referral Counsellor at 416-961-6888 ext 232 who can help you navigate the website and answer any specific questions you have. 

Thanks again for your question. I hope you have an absolutely wonderful birthday! 

Best, 

Kelly


Kelly Devries, Community Engagement CoordinatorKelly DeVries is Volunteer Toronto's Community Engagement Coordinator. She coordinates a team of hardworking volunteers who represent Volunteer Toronto at community events. She is the voice of our Volunteer Times newsletter and assists the many events and programs we organize to inspire people in Toronto to volunteer.

Tags:  one-day events  volunteer  volunteer for birthday  volunteer for one day  volunteer in Toronto  Volunteer questions  volunteering on special events 

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What's It Like To Volunteer For...Habitat For Humanity

Posted By Melissa Haughton, Volunteer Guest Blogger, May 10, 2016
Updated: May 9, 2016

 

Photo courtesy of Habitat For Humanity GTA

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Having a safe and decent place to live is a basic human right. Yet there are 1.6 million Canadian families in need of safe, clean and affordable shelter but are forced to decide between heat and rent – a choice no family should ever have to make.

 
 Keith Perrin (left) and volunteer

Habitat for Humanity Greater Toronto Area is a non-profit organization that envisions a world where everyone has a safe and decent place to live. Their work focuses on mobilizing volunteers and community partners to help hardworking, low income families break the cycle of poverty through affordable homeownership. Volunteers are the heart and soul of their work and each year 10,000 volunteers contribute over 100,000 hours to support the organization. One of their most well-known volunteer activities involves helping to build a home for a family.

Intrigued by what’s involved? Volunteer Toronto spoke with Keith Perrin, a volunteer with a background in sales and management, who rolled up his sleeves to help the cause and has helped many families along the way.

 

What is your current role at Habitat for Humanity GTA?

I’m the Volunteer Crew Leader

 

How long have you volunteered with this organization?

For more than three years.

 

How would you describe your current volunteer role?

Habitat for Humanity helps break the cycle of poverty for our partner families by providing a path to home ownership that would not otherwise be financially feasible.

We construct new build homes using volunteer labour, except where a licensed tradesperson is needed. Since volunteers perform primary framing, insulation, flooring and numerous other construction tasks, we are able to produce a quality home at a low construction cost.

Volunteers typically have no construction experience and must be taught the skills required to perform the task assigned for their day on the site, and be supervised throughout the day. This is a great learning experience, and opportunity to lend skills to a good cause in a hands-on fashion.

As a Volunteer Crew Leader, I teach construction skills, perform construction tasks and direct volunteers as they work on the home.

 

What is the time commitment involved?

For the past three years, I have averaged 500 hours per year. My frequency varies from as many as 3 to 4 days per week in the spring and fall, to a more staggered schedule in the summer and winter when vacation intervenes. As an organization, Habitat works with "what you can do, when you can do it" rather than a fixed commitment.

Many people only volunteer once, often as part of a corporate or community group. Some volunteers become regulars, and participate a few times per month. Regulars can graduate to the "Crew Program", in which they have expanded responsibility and assist less experienced volunteers. Some Crew Program members go on to become Crew Leaders if they show the desire, ability and commitment to more regular participation.

 

What does training consist of? How long does it last?

Training at Habitat occurs on the job, as it’s the only practical way to learn to build a house. I’ve been a Crew Leader for three years and a day never goes by that I don't still learn something from another volunteer.

Learning and teaching construction skills is a fundamental part of the Habitat model. Habitat people are extremely generous with their knowledge. Knowledge sharing is an integral part of the Habitat spirit.

 

What’s been surprising or challenging about your volunteering?

I was initially shocked at how little I knew about actual construction. I always thought of myself as a handy guy, but it turned out I knew zero about building a real house. Mercifully Habitat people are incredibly generous with their knowledge.

I was also surprised to realize how much teaching and leadership is involved, and how weak my skills were. I spent my career in management, but I quickly realized that everyone I managed already knew their jobs!

At Habitat every day brings a new cohort of volunteers who generally have a great spirit, but no knowledge. I can say that my teaching and leadership skills are better today than they were before I retired, but don't tell my old employer that!

 

What have you learned from your volunteering?

Obviously, I’ve learned how to build houses. But the greater, and somewhat surprising thing I’ve learned is how to teach and lead people.

As Crew Leaders we spend some time discussing the construction process, but we spend far more time discussing the best ways to teach volunteers with no experience how to perform a required task effectively.

It’s critical that we teach inexperienced volunteers new tasks early in the morning, so that they can be productive and self-sufficient by the midday coffee break if we are to have a successful day.

 

How have the skills/knowledge you’ve gained through your volunteering transferred into other areas of your life?

There’s no doubt I am a better builder since joining Habitat, but I have also become the "go to" guy amongst everyone I know for an answer to a technical home question!

 

What common misconceptions do people have about the volunteering that you do?

People think Habitat builds houses and gives them away, and this is not the case. Habitat’s motto is  "We give a hand up, not a hand out”.

Partner families (who will be living in the home) begin by passing a rigorous qualification process. They then have to give 500 hours of volunteer time to their home construction in lieu of a down payment. The house is sold to the partner family at its full market value, and Habitat provides a 100% first mortgage at zero interest with a repayment schedule geared to income.

The partner family must earn their way into an equity position in the property by paying down that mortgage. Were they to choose to sell the property after paying down only 10% of the mortgage, they would be entitled to only 10% of the equity in the home, including any appreciation in market value. This is a long term commitment for the partner family. When we say the partner family is in partnership with Habitat, we mean it!

 

What advice do you have to give to anyone looking to do this type of volunteering?

Give it a try! It's physically demanding, and although it may not feel like it at first, it's a big benefit. I am 67 years old and am in the best shape I've been in the last 25 years! It also provides a great mental workout - construction is essentially one long problem-solving exercise, and it has improved my math skills significantly.

More than anything: come with an open mind willing to learn, teach and meet new and interesting people.

 

 

 

Melissa Haughton is a recent graduate who currently works in marketing. She is passionate about writing, cats and helping out in the community. You can connect with her on LinkedIn.

 

Tags:  Construction volunteers  Habitat for Humanity  poverty reduction  Toronto  volunteer in construction  Volunteer in Toronto 

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Making Your Court-Ordered Community Services Hours Time Well Spent

Posted By Andre MacKay, Guest Blogger, April 25, 2016
Updated: April 14, 2016

Andre volunteering at the Dance Marathon

Andre (left) and Megan voluntering at Volunteer Toronto's Dance Marathon in support of SickKids

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

After receiving a traffic citation, I was required by court order, to complete 80 hours of community service, which at the time, seemed a very daunting task given my hectic, deadline-driven work schedule, long commute to and from home, as well as periods of extended travel. I began by looking to my personal and professional networks for connections that worked in the non-for-profit space that could perhaps refer me to volunteer positions that would allow me to leverage my work experience and skills. I noticed there were many volunteer positions that required candidates commit to a recurring schedule over the course of a few months, but due to my hectic schedule, I needed to find a volunteer position where I could help on either a single event or small number of events. Enter Volunteer Toronto…

There are several great online resources throughout the GTA that aggregate volunteer opportunities and offer a convenient listing of those positions. In general these websites allow you to search, review, and register for a variety of different tasks, events, and programs. After searching casually on a few, I kept coming back to the Volunteer Toronto website because I found it to be thorough and intuitive with a great variety of potential opportunities. The site allows you to search by category and surface specific types of work assignments: such as events that involve group activities, those that support people with disabilities, fundraising positions, consulting, and clerical tasks or some combination of the many options offered. What’s more, users can search by keyword if the particular category they’re seeking isn’t listed and then further sort through assignments by location. Further still, the site offers the ability to search based on duration of availability so one can find a one-day assignment, a short term (less than 3 months), long term (greater than 3 months) or indicate that the duration “doesn’t matter.” The search tools are robust and really help take any guesswork out of the process in addition to aggregating and providing consistent updates of the available positions.

My first volunteer assignment was with Central Eglinton Community Centre.  They offer programs and activities for seniors, children, and the general public. Over the course of a few months I helped with general labour and organizing events as well as supporting the leaders, coordinators, and presenters during programs such as: health care information sessions, sales of baked goods and books, and other programs for members, employees, and volunteers. I also helped to supervise the computer lab during designated hours so that registered members could have computer access and I helped those who needed assistance with internet research, email, and word processing. In addition to supporting the wide variety of events and programs that the centre offered I also volunteered at one-off events including: The United Way CN Tower Climb and both Volunteer Toronto’s Grassroots Growth launch event as well as their Dance Marathon in support of SickKids.

The best advice I can give to those looking to contribute or in need of volunteer hours as part of a requirement is to take advantage of the resources offered on the Volunteer Toronto website. Beyond the volunteer opportunity search page, they also have information on how to get started as a volunteer, frequently asked questions about volunteering, stories from past volunteers about their experience, and even a bi-weekly newsletters volunteer opportunities, free information sessions, and special events.

In order to help ensure that the experience is enjoyable and mutually beneficial one should come with an open mind, flexible attitude, and friendly demeanour as the specific needs may change as the event progresses. Approach the volunteer assignment with the same level of professional, engagement, and willingness to contribute as one would have with respect to a paid position.

After volunteering at a number of different events, the one key takeaway is that there are many organizations throughout the GTA offering important services and making meaningful contributions to the lives of Torontonians that, in order to provide those services to the community, need the help and dedication of volunteers. After gaining an appreciation for the value they offer I will absolutely continue to lend a hand and encourage others to join and make whatever contribution of their time, skills, and experience that they can. 


Andre lives and works in Toronto. 

Tags:  416  Court-ordered community service  give back  mandatory community services  The6ix  Toronto  volunteer  volunteering in Toronto 

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Ask Kelly - How Do I Find The Right Volunteer Position?

Posted By Volunteer Toronto, April 22, 2016
Updated: December 19, 2016
 Ask Kelly Banner

 

“Ask Kelly” is our new blog series aimed at answering your most pressing volunteer questions. As Volunteer Toronto’s Community Engagement Coordinator, Kelly DeVries is our in-house expert on all things volunteering. Got a burning question? She’s here to help!

Submit your question to info@volunteertoronto.ca - subject line: Ask Kelly


Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Dear Kelly,

 

I am interested in volunteering, but am unsure what the experience is like. I’ve never volunteered before and I want to volunteer in a positive and welcoming environment. Do you have any suggestions about how to find a good fit?

 

Sincerely,

Arash

 

 



Hello Arash, 

Thank you so much for your email and your question! It makes complete sense that you want to be in a positive and welcoming environment where you feel your contribution is meaningful!

As you said you haven’t volunteered before I have several suggestions for you: 

 

 

 

Learn

My first suggestion for you is to learn more about volunteering! Read our Frequently Asked Questions. Explore the “What’s It Like To…” blog series to hear from volunteers in various roles. Check out VolunteersofTO to learn more about volunteers across out city. Talk to persons you know, about where they volunteer and the types of roles they perform with an organization. Read through the position descriptions on our website to gain a better understanding of the options. 

 

  

Act

After learning more about volunteering, I encourage you to act as a volunteer for several one-day special events happening in different organizations. This will allow you to meet some of the staff and fellow volunteers of the organization and give you a general feel for it. Were people friendly? Were you given the resources you needed to do the job well? Did you have fun? This will help you determine a good organizational fit. The best way to search for one-day special events is to visit our Opportunities Database and search by “Type of Position – One Day or Less

 

 

 

Reflect

After volunteering at several special events, I encourage you to follow our 3Rs for finding a good volunteer position—Reflect, Research and Reach Out. It is important to spend some time thinking more about what you are interested in doing, what kind of time you can give, and what you are hoping to learn, share or gain from the experience, to ensure that volunteering is meaningful for yourself and the organization. 

 

 

Hope this is helpful Arash. If you need any additional support please book an appointment with a Referral Counsellor who can help you navigate the website, answer questions you have and provide suggestions of places for you to volunteer.

 

Thanks,

 

Kelly 

 

 

Kelly Devries, Community Engagement CoordinatorKelly DeVries is Volunteer Toronto's Community Engagement Coordinator. She coordinates a team of hardworking volunteers who represent Volunteer Toronto at community events. She is the voice of our Volunteer Times newsletter and assists the many events and programs we organize to inspire people in Toronto to volunteer.

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What's It Like To Volunteer For...A Cat Rescue

Posted By Melissa Haughton, Volunteer Guest Blogger, April 18, 2016
Updated: April 13, 2016

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Cats have taken the Internet by storm over the last few years. Whether they’re grumpy, cuddly or lazy, these animals continue to win people over both on and offline.  Unfortunately, many cats in the city are born in the wild, which means they don’t have access to regular food or care. Annex Cat Rescue works to help all these furry felines in need.

 

Sara Slater
Volunteer with Annex Cat Rescue

Founded in 1997, the Annex Cat Rescue started in its namesake—the Annex—but soon expanded to help cats across the Greater Toronto Area. This not for profit organization is run by volunteers committed to reducing the feral population and helping cats find homes. Sara Slater has been a volunteer with Annex Cat Rescue for the past 10 years.

 

 

 

 

How would you describe your volunteer role?

Annex Cat Rescue is a 100% volunteer-run organization. I started volunteering by fostering cats after one of mine died. After fostering, I was interested in getting more involved.

I have volunteered in a variety of roles at Annex Cat Rescue, including many administrative positions. Administrative roles are great because you can help cats indirectly, just by working on the computer or supporting other volunteers.

The feeding and caring for the feral cats brings me the most joy of all though, which is some of what I do in my current role as the Feral Colony Coordinator & Community Manager.  I love interacting with the cats, who wait for us every day for food, and monitoring them to see if they need any medical or extra care. For this interview I'll concentrate on the position of feeding the feral cats.

What do you like most about volunteering for this non-profit?

I love volunteering for the Annex Cat Rescue because they really support you through every situation. Everyone is so compassionate and caring.

What common misconceptions do people have about the volunteer work that you do?

People usually think we're a small organization that looks after a few homeless cats. It’s actually estimated there are over 100,000 homeless cats in the city, so that requires a lot people.  There are many homeless cat colonies that Annex Cat Rescue and other rescuers work with, so everyone comes together to help out.

What skills and characteristics do you feel contribute most to success in your volunteer work?

As a member of the feral feeding team, I’ve learned how to work independently and help out as part of a team. I've also developed valuable communications and organization skills keeping track of cats, volunteers and keeping everyone up to date.

Is training provided for your role? What did it consist of and how long did it last?

Yes, training is definitely provided for feral feeding. Usually a new volunteer will speak with the volunteer coordinator, and then shadow an experienced feeder for one or two sessions. They will show the new volunteer where and how much to feed the cats, what to look out for, and answer any questions.

What’s been surprising or challenging about your volunteering?

It’s surprising how much valuable health information I’ve learned about cats through volunteering over the years. The information has definitely helped me better care for my own cats.

What skills and characteristics do you feel contribute most to success in your volunteering?

For feral feeding you need to have a big, empathetic heart. You also need to communicate effectively with the other feeders to discuss any situations that may arise, such as when a cat needs medical care.

 

What advice do you have to give to anyone looking to do this type of volunteering?

If you're interested in joining the Feral Feeding team, it’s best to see what it’s like first-hand. Email Annex Cat Rescue and say you’d like to shadow an experienced feral feeder!

 

 

Melissa Haughton is a recent graduate who currently works in marketing. She is passionate about writing, cats and helping out in the community. You can connect with her on LinkedIn.

 

Tags:  cat care  Cat recuse  feral cats  volunteer with cats  volunteering in Toronto 

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Volunteers are the Roots of Strong Communities

Posted By Camara Chambers, Director of Community Engagement, April 11, 2016

National Volunteer Week 2016

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

If you were asked what makes a community great, what would you say? Diversity? Green spaces? Low crime? Clean streets? There are so many things that contribute to making a neighbourhood or city a great one, but the one consistent theme in all of those factors is volunteers.

At Volunteer Toronto, every day we see and hear about the impact volunteers have in Toronto. Volunteers teaching newcomers English, mentors helping jobseekers land their dream jobs, youth raising money for local hospitals, families planting trees together to make the city a little more green. This week, during National Volunteer Week, we want to say thank you to each and every volunteer who has done something to make Toronto a little better this past year. Your efforts don’t ever go unnoticed and Toronto wouldn’t be the same without you.

To mark National Volunteer Week and celebrate the contributions of volunteers, we’re awarding 25 special volunteers with a Volunteer Toronto Legacy Award as recognition of their extraordinary contributions to the city. These volunteers’ have given their time to bring positive change and in the process have inspired others to give back – people like Anthony Morgan who has been a strong advocate for the African Canadian community in Toronto and has raised awareness of issues like discriminatory police carding practices, Charles Grimbleby who for 22 years volunteered as a driver for the Toronto Christian Resource Centre helping to deliver goods around the city for people in need, and Katelyn Luciani who has bravely spoken out about living with a chronic pain condition and inspires others to raise awareness of endometriosis. You can read more about these volunteers and what they’ve done for their communities here.

Volunteers are and will always be the roots of our growing community. They nurture our city and make it the strong and resilient place it is today.

From all the staff at Volunteer Toronto, happy National Volunteer Week!

Camara Chambers manages Volunteer Toronto's public engagement strategy and team. This includes working with community partners, leading large-scale events and overseeing various programs that aim to encourage Torontonians to volunteer. In 2014, the community engagement team helped connect 550,000 people to volunteer positions in Toronto!

Tags:  Canada  Legacy Awards 2016  National Volunteer Week 2016  volunteer  volunteer recognition  volunteering in Toronto  volunteerism  Volunteers of Toronto 

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