If you’ve been keeping up with my blog, then you should know that volunteering holds a special place in my heart. I believe in giving back to the community whenever I can. If you’ve got heart, Toronto has the right volunteer opportunity for you. In Ontario, all students must complete a minimum of 40 hours of community service in order to graduate. For these teens, it might be difficult finding a volunteer position they are ready and willing to commit to; one that holds their interest. The holidays are the perfect time to give back to others, so I’ve put together a list of resources and holiday volunteer opportunities in the city.
1. Volunteer Toronto
Volunteer Toronto is a membership-based charitable organization committed to supporting, enabling and celebrating volunteering in the City of Toronto. Volunteer Toronto provides expert advice on volunteer trends and their mission is to help create the best possible volunteer experience.
2. Charity Village
Charity Village is the Canadian non-profit sector’s most popular online resource for recruiting and how-to information. Topics include volunteer engagement and how to choose the perfect volunteer opportunity when you have limited time. You can search for volunteer opportunities advertised on their site.
3. Ontario Volunteer Centre Network
The Ontario Volunteer Centre Network (OVCN) seeks to increase support for volunteer centres in Ontario. Visit their website for a list of volunteer centres closest to you and their contact information.
Resources for High School students
1. Charity Village
Volunteer opportunities are updated regularly and they offer a special section for high school students seeking to meet their volunteer requirements for graduation. If you want to get involved, this is a great place to begin your search.
2. Toronto Youth Volunteer
Need to complete your 40 hours of volunteer work and clueless where to start? Volunteer Toronto introduced the Youth Volunteer Portal to help you find unique opportunities. Or if you’re feeling particularly creative, they offer tips on organizing your own event like food drives and community clean-ups.
3. Get Involved
Get Involved partnered with Volunteer Toronto to help volunteers and organizations connect. Get Involved focuses on matching volunteers with opportunities based on their skills and interests.
Make someone less fortunate smile this Christmas
1. Daily Bread Food Bank holds public food sorting events during their three fundraising drives. They’ve got their Holiday Drive public food sorting event coming up on December 27 and 28. You can register online starting Tuesday, December 10.
2. The Toronto Star Santa Claus Fund is one of Toronto’s oldest charities in existence. Every year since 1906, the charity brings joy to the children of low income families across the Greater Toronto Area with a gift box at Christmas. Children from newborn to 12 years who live in Toronto, Mississauga, Brampton, Ajax, or Pickering are eligible. Every item in the Santa Claus Fund gift boxes is carefully chosen. Take a look at what’s inside the gift boxes this year. Volunteers transform into Santa’s little elves sorting, packing, and delivering the gift boxes to 45,000 children by Christmas. Read stories shared by people whose lives have been touched by the Santa Claus Fund. Discover ways to get involved here.
3. The Yonge Street Mission offers tons of opportunities for all ages during the holiday season. Why not volunteer at their Christmas Toy Market which provides a way for low income families to get gifts for their children. Volunteers are needed to receive and sort donations, act as “personal shoppers” – assist visitors to pick out items, and provide child care. Most volunteer spots are already filled but you can add your name to the wait lists if you wish. If you’re a creative person, you can get involved with their Senior’s Holiday Boxes Preparation. They’re seeking volunteers to help organize and wrap gift hampers to be delivered to seniors in the community.
Any interesting volunteer opportunities in your area? How are you spreading hope, joy, and love this holiday season?