Volunteering In Your Community

National Volunteer Week in Canada is April 16-22, 2023. We put this week aside to celebrate and thank the many volunteers who do so much to help our communities. When you volunteer, not only are you making a positive difference in your community, but studies have shown that volunteering is associated with improved health and well-being as well as a reduction in stress! Have you been thinking of volunteering but not sure how to begin? Any action big or small can benefit both you and your community. Here are some steps to help you get started.

Decide Which Causes You Care About
Finding a cause you are passionate about increases your chances of getting the most out of the opportunity. If environmental issues are high on your radar, consider a group that keeps areas in your community clean, or join a community garden or a group like Ontario Streams. Concerned about neighbours with disabilities? Volunteer at a special needs or local seniors centre. Love the arts? There are many art groups doing charity work, or get connected with your local library. The Aurora Public Library is always looking for volunteers. Still not sure? Volunteer Canada has an interactive quiz  that helps you discover what type of volunteer opportunity suits you.
Choosing the right cause will also connect you with like-minded people who share the same passion.

Find a cause you’re passionate about, and you’ll connect with like-minded people

Determine Your Time Commitment
Be realistic about your availability. You may only be able to volunteer on weekends, or during the day. YorkWorks.ca has a list of organizations looking for volunteers throughout the York Region.
Every little bit helps, and most organizations will be happy to work with your schedule. It’s important not to over-commit yourself.

Be realistic about your availability

Connect With The Organization
Once you’ve decided where you want to volunteer, it’s time to reach out to the organization you’re interested in. Learn their requirements and if there is an orientation or training involved. If so, this is a good way to learn more about their mission and about the people you will be working with. Sites like Charity Village can be a valuable resource in connecting you with a charitable organization close to home.

Taking part in information sessions is a good start to your volunteer pursuit

Make It A Team Effort
Volunteering can be even more fun when you do it with friends or family. Even if it’s just a walk- or bike-a-thon, a work fundraiser, or help at the local food bank, take the lead and you may be pleasantly surprised how many others are ready to pitch in!

The Geranium team volunteering at a Habitat For Humanity Women Build project

Youth Volunteering
In addition to the volunteer hours your teenagers may need, youth volunteering is extremely rewarding. Young people who volunteer regularly develop important transferable skills like problem-solving, team work and time management. Depending on where you live, there are many online resources for youth volunteering. The Town of Aurora has some wonderful youth programs. 

Young people who volunteer regularly develop important transferable skills

The Value Of Volunteering
Whether it’s lending a hand at a local food bank, hands-on construction with Habitat for Humanity, or helping from home with a virtual volunteer opportunity, volunteers are a valuable resource. So, take some time to give back to your community. You’ll make a positive impact and you’ll feel great about it.

There are so many benefits to volunteering for both your community and for you

Here are some Local Organizations, as well as other resources, to find a place you can enjoy volunteering with:
• Aurora Public Library
• Barrie Public Library
• Volunteering in the Barrie area
Township of Scugog volunteer opportunities
• Volunteering in Springwater Township
• Volunteers in Pickering
• Introducing newcomers to Canada
Aurora Food Pantry
Operation Scugog Food Bank 
• Ontario SPCA and Humane Societies

Posted in Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *