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Meet Our Team: Melina Condren

Posted By Roxanne English, Community Engagement Assistant, August 8, 2016
Updated: August 4, 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. 

So far we have featured Camara Chambers, Director of Community Engagement as well as our Grassroots Growth team. 

Next up... our Director of Community Engagement


WHO: Melina Condren

ROLE: Director of Engaging Organizations


PLACE OF BIRTH: Penetanguishene, Ontario

FAVOURITE SONG: The soundtrack to the musical "Hamilton"


What do you do at Volunteer Toronto?

I oversee all of Volunteer Toronto’s services for non-profits, including our Training and Subscriptions programs and our Grassroots Growth project. Most of my time is spent supervising staff, and taking care of the planning, budgeting and program evaluation for my programs and projects. I also come up with ideas for new services, lead research projects, write grant proposals, and report to funders.


Melina Condren - Volunteer Toronto 

 Melina, leading a Workshop at VECTor 2015



What do you like most about your job?


I love being behind the scenes working on different programs and projects. I get to be involved in everything Volunteer Toronto does for non-profits; whether it’s coming up with a plan to revamp one of our services or making sure one of our staff members has the support they need to get their job done, I’m in the background making sure we're doing the best work we can.

  Melina in team meeting

Melina in team meeting


What was your most enjoyable volunteer experience?

One volunteer experience that stands out for me was helping out with program evaluation at the Davenport-Perth Neighbourhood and Community Health Centre. I was fresh out of graduate school, and I’d been doing a lot of projects that were very theoretical and academic. Volunteering for the DPNCHC was one of the first opportunities I had to apply some of my research skills outside of academia. I felt like it was actually going to make a difference to the organization and have an effect on the people in the program, which was incredibly rewarding for me.


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

Gardening. I’m growing ten types of vegetables and eight types of herbs at the moment, and I’m hoping to expand soon. I’ve even got a system so that I can keep gardening during the winter, keeping everything alive using cold frames, which basically turn my garden into a tiny greenhouse.

Melina Condren Gardening

Melina gardening


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 really love pie. It's a staple of my family's celebrations, either as a dessert or as a savoury main dish, so I would really miss it if I could never eat it again!


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

A lint brush...My desk drawers are pretty boring. It’s impossible for me to show up for work without being covered in cat hair.


Melina Desk Drawer 

Melina's desk drawer

Stay tuned in September 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:  Volunteer Toronto Staff 

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