We all know that volunteering and giving back is important and can be extremely fulfilling. The only problem is, where do we start? How do we find which volunteering opportunity is right for us? This year, I am planning to start volunteering here in Toronto. I researched many ways to volunteer in my area, and I decided to share them with you!
I know most of you do not live in the Greater Toronto Area, however I am sure that these ways to volunteer can apply to pretty much everywhere! If anything, I hope this inspires you to research ways to volunteer in your community.
“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” – Winston Churchill
When you begin your search for volunteer work, first you must decide on a few things:
- Commitment Length
Next, find a field you would like to volunteer in. Choose one you are passionate about. Here are some examples:
- Youth Work
- Festivals/Events Help
- Animal Care
- Admin Work
- Shelters/Food Banks
- Elder Care
Now that you’ve chosen which fields you might be interested in volunteering with, it’s time to look into different opportunities in your area.
Your Google search can be as simple as “Places to Volunteer in _________”, or refine it by looking up certain organizations. Many places such as the YMCA, libraries, hospitals, community centres and foundations like Heart And Stoke or the Alzheimers Society have ways to volunteer across North America and beyond.
Here in Toronto, I found this amazing resource that lists several hundred ways to volunteer: www.volunteertoronto.ca
Some of the opportunities I might look into that I found are:
- Music Relaxation at Ronald McDonald House Charities
- The Peer Project at Youth Assisting Youth
- English Second Language at Salvation Army
- Animal Care at Toronto Humane Society
- Leading to Reading at Toronto Public Library
- Youth Engagement Volunteer at Heart And Stroke
Remember, there are even ways to volunteer from the comfort of your home! Donate your lightly used items to charity, teach english online or make a quilt for people in need. Another resource is the Android/iPhone App Global Citizen where you can petition for the causes that are important to you, while earning rewards!
With so many ways to volunteer, the opportunities are endless and we can all lend a helping hand in some way.
When you start to change lives, it will change your own.
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