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Featured Volunteer - Vinyse Barber
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We are ecstatic to introduce you to super volunteer Vinyse Barber, our very first Featured Volunteer!

 The many perks of working with dogs - puppy kisses!

Vinyse Barber

Vinyse has dedicated over 20 years of her life to volunteering. Currently, she is volunteering as a board member of Transition Toronto, co-organizer of EcoFair at the Barns, foster parent at the Toronto Humane Society, steering committee member of Eglinton Park Community Garden (Toronto Green Community), Community Connections volunteer at WoodGreen Community Services, volunteer recognition committee member of the Toronto Vegetarian Association and President and Founder of Dogs of the Ganges Society. She has also volunteered at numerous other organizations in the past, and has incorporated volunteering into her travels at orphanages in Peru and in India.

Vinyse started her career as a Chartered Accountant but soon after receiving her designation, returned to school to follow her passion for helping others.  She did an MBA in Nonprofit Management and currently works in the field of volunteer engagement. This career transition was sparked by her volunteer role with the Canadian Cancer Society (BC) as a Volunteer Resources Leader; she was speaking at a university volunteer fair and that's when she found 'her calling'. The volunteers that she now recruits through her job at March of Dimes Canada tell her that her passion for engaging others in their community shines through as she shares with them all the benefits she has received from her own volunteer experiences.  

 The role that's nearest to her heart is with the volunteer organization that she founded, Dogs of the Ganges Society. Vinyse and her husband were travelling in India in December 2012 - partly for pleasure and partly to volunteer at two orphanages doing a needs assessment on behalf of the Canadian organization that funds them. As avid animal lovers and animal parents, their hearts were simultaneously captured and broken by the dogs that lived on the streets of India. When they saw some kids try to stuff a pup into a rice sack to stomp on it, they immediately knew they had to help the pup and the other dogs that lived there. They returned to India in December 2013 to learn from animal welfare organizations in other cities, did a ton of research from Toronto, and when there was no existing organization that they could find that helped street dogs in Varanasi, they started their own. Vinyse and her husband now spend a lot of their free time building their organization in Toronto and managing a new outreach and education project half a world away. While this volunteer role takes up a lot of her free time, Vinyse is happy she is doing something to help some of the 25 million street dogs that suffer from disease, injuries, overbreeding and hunger in India.

Feeding injured dogs recovering at the shelter in Ranchi, India 


Volunteering at the orphanage in Bodhgaya, India

What's Vinyse's advice for those looking to volunteer?

“Find a cause that moves you. If you do that, everything you do towards that cause doesn't feel like work, or obligation, or a commitment - it becomes fun, and moving, and soul-fulfilling.”

She has experienced first-hand the many benefits of volunteering, including gaining practical hands-on work experience, but she believes the benefit of knowing you did your part to make a difference in a cause that's close to your heart is the greatest reward of all.



If you or someone you know is interested in being a Featured Volunteer then fill out this survey with as much detail as possible and we will be in touch if you have been selected!

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Toronto, ON
M6G 1L5

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Scarborough, ON
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