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Get To Know Some Of Our Amazing Volunteers

Posted By Ainsley Kendrick, Marketing and Communications Manager, March 31, 2016
Updated: March 30, 2016
 Volunteer Toronto Volunteers/Staff

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Every year, for one special week in April, non-profits across the country are encouraged to recognize their volunteers for their amazing contributions. National Volunteer Week is going into its 13th consecutive year celebrating and thanking those who give passionately to support their cause. Big or small, the efforts and time volunteers give is vitally important to the work non-profits do to support the community.

At Volunteer Toronto, our work focuses on supporting people on their volunteer journeys, guiding them to great organizations that need their help.  We are in the community giving presentations, offering free information sessions, organizing volunteer fairs, small and large-scale events, training sessions and conferences. We do a lot! However, our small but mighty staff couldn’t do what we do without the support of our over 60 volunteers. Yes, 60 volunteers!

From outreach presenters to newsletter editors, referral counselors to subscriptions assistants, our volunteers are working out in the community and behind the scenes making our services more accessible to all.  In preparation for National Volunteer Week, we would love to introduce you to a few of these incredible people.


Joan Janzen

Joan Janzen has been volunteering with us since 2008. She joined the team after connecting with our Outreach Coordinator at a community fair. At the time, she was between jobs and was looking for a good way to spend her free time so she decided to volunteer doing outreach presentations to the public. A project manager and communications person by trade, Joan easily fit into the role. Since then, she has moved on to table at community fairs and works with us weekly in the office performing follow-up calls to subscribers and conducting research for case studies. Joan’s bright personality and equally bright red hair are a welcome addition to our family. Without volunteers like Joan, we wouldn’t be out in the community building important relationships and connecting with future volunteers.

Nathan Liu

Nathan Liu is a grade 11 student from Jean Vanier Catholic Secondary School. He joined the Youth Volunteerism Ambassadors after finding out about the opportunity through his school. He loves how this opportunity allows him to meet other youth who share his same love for volunteering. He works to spread the word about Volunteer Toronto and inspire his peers to find great ways to give back. Without volunteers like Nathan, youth would have no idea about the variety of ways they could earn their volunteer hours.  

Karima Dia

Karima Dia is a superstar volunteer. With a background in Public Relations, her talents have been put to good use helping us coordinate our Grassroots Growth launch event and Seniors Volunteer Fair. She joined the team last November as a way to practice her PR skills and also gain more experience in event planning. She was surprised to have been given the opportunity to also try her hand at volunteer management, a role she picked up quickly and performed flawlessly. Without volunteers like Karima, these special events couldn’t happen. 



Vivian Thompson

Vivian Thompson started volunteering as a Referral Counsellor back in December of 2015. She had always volunteered in some capacity, in her kids’ school or helping with their sports teams, but had yet to try more formal ways of giving back.  Her Referral Counseling role allows her to interact face-to-face with a variety of people as she helps guide them through our website to find a suitable volunteer opportunity. What surprises her most about the role is how much more she has learned about the city and the opportunities that exist to make a difference.  Without volunteers like Vivian, technological barriers would reduce our ability to support many of the potential volunteers in the city.


We love our volunteers and absolutely couldn’t succeed without them. Volunteers are the heart of every organization, so this National Volunteer Week, we encourage you to take the time to let them know how much you appreciate them and the work they do. 


Ainsley Kendrick is the creative voice behind Volunteer Toronto's external communications. She manages their website and social media channels as well as works with all departments to develop key collateral and messaging. Her mission is to reach the furthest corners of the city to let people know about Volunteer Toronto's programs and services. 

She can be reached at

Tags:  Celebrate volunteers  Legacy Awards  National Volunteer Week 2016  Toronto volunteers  volunteer recognition  Volunteer Week 

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