What is volunteering?
Volunteering is a great way to give back to your community and can show that you have a strong work ethic that’s motivated by goodwill, not just money.
Volunteers make a difference by offering support to people and services in need of help. You can also use volunteering opportunities to network and build skills.
You can volunteer at any age, for any length of time, for any group or cause. However, keep in mind that if you’re in high school, you’ll need to volunteer for at least 40 hours in order to graduate. The good news is that you can start as early as the summer before grade 9!
How do I find the right volunteer opportunity?
There are many types of volunteer opportunities and many things to consider when choosing what to support.
Firstly, when researching where to volunteer, make sure you should dedicate your time and energy to organizations and causes that are publicly funded and/or not-for-profit. These places usually need community support to run effectively, whereas companies and corporations make enough profit to hire people to work for them.
Secondly, you should also consider what societal issues you’re passionate about solving. If you’re concerned about poverty, consider reaching out to your local food bank or shelter. If you want to improve kids’ access to education, find somewhere you can tutor. If you care a lot about seniors’ wellbeing, contact a long-term care home.
Where can I volunteer?
If you want to volunteer for a specific cause, here are some places you should consider reaching out to directly:
- Public libraries
- Parks and recreation associations (e.g., Parks and Recreation Ontario)
- Community centres
- Churches, mosques, temples, and other faith-based organizations
- Animal shelters (e.g., Ontario SPCA and Humane Society)
- Food banks
- Disaster relief organizations (e.g., Red Cross)
- Human and civil rights groups (e.g., Amnesty International)