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Be Selfish, Volunteer

Published: Mar 1, 2023 @ 8:56 AM

The benefits of volunteerism

Volunteering is often heralded as an act of selflessness—a way of serving your community. Give of your time and make the world around you better! On many levels, this is true. Of course, we should do what we can to help others in need and contribute to our community. But what mustn’t be overlooked are the secondary benefits of volunteering — self-improvement and personal growth.

What's in it for me?

Volunteering is a way to give back to your community, build relationships, and improve your well-being. It can also provide personal development and growth; volunteering can be a tremendous building block, personally and professionally.

Additionally, if you are an organization that relies on volunteers, you should be conscious of the personal benefits of volunteering. The volunteer retention rate is significantly higher when individual volunteers are engaged personally, focusing on their skills and interests.

Three benefits to the volunteer

Personal Fulfillment

Some individuals spend their whole lives in search of meaning and purpose. The ultimate question then becomes — where do you find it? Are you fulfilled by your job and success in your career? Do purpose and fulfillment come from family or community? Do you derive purpose from a religious belief? Research suggests that in the same way we find fulfillment at work, we can find personal fulfillment and meaning through volunteering (Caraveo, 2022). If you are considering volunteering or wondering where to serve, consider the things that provide you with personal fulfillment and look for an opportunity to serve in a related area.

Skill Development

Have you ever tried to get a job that requires more experience than you have? How are you meant to obtain said experience? Volunteering is the answer. In a Deloitte survey, 86% of respondents stated that putting volunteer activities on your resume improves your chance of getting hired.

Even if you’re not looking to bolster your resume, if you are a person committed to life-long learning and growth, volunteering can be an excellent tool for personal development. Research on skill-based volunteering tells us two things — volunteers are more fulfilled when they serve based on their skill set, and there is an opportunity in volunteering to learn or develop more skills. (Dempsey-Branch & Shantz 2022).

Building Community

If you are part of a friend group, religious group, or co-workers who have volunteered together, you understand the camaraderie of serving together. If you want to find a community or make friends, volunteering can be the perfect place. If you want to spend time helping at an organization you are passionate about, the odds are high that you will meet someone there with like-minded passions and interests. Meeting new people can also provide an opportunity to grow your professional circle. You never know whom you are going to meet when you volunteer.

The privilege of finding purpose

Remembering that we volunteer out of a position of privilege is important. Not only do we volunteer out of our spare time, but we can also seek meaning, purpose, and community through these activities because we can meet our basic daily needs. Because we don’t lack the necessary support to help us meet certain responsibilities. Because we don’t live under the threat of famine and war. We must understand that it’s out of privilege that we can seek out and ponder the answers to these existential questions of self-fulfillment and growth.

So next time you want to better yourself, learn a new skill, or make a new friend, consider finding a place to volunteer and do some good in the process.



Building Communities Through Volunteering - Guest Blog

Published: Feb 14, 2023 @ 2:56 PM

My Personal Journey of Giving Back and Making Lifelong Connections

Volunteering has always been a big part of my life. I believe that giving back to the community and helping others is a fulfilling experience that can bring people together and build a strong community. My volunteering journey started when I was in college and it has been an incredible journey so far.

One of my most memorable volunteer experiences was when I joined a local food bank to distribute food to the homeless and families in need. It was a challenging task as we had to sort and distribute food to a large number of people in a short amount of time. Despite the challenges, it was a fulfilling experience. I got to interact with many people from different walks of life, and it was heartwarming to see how grateful they were for the food.

Through volunteering, I have met people from diverse backgrounds and cultures. Volunteering has given me the opportunity to connect with people on a personal level, and I have made some lifelong friends. I remember meeting a woman named Susan at the food bank who was struggling to make ends meet. She was so grateful for the food and we got talking. Over time, we became good friends and continue to support each other. I feel grateful to have met her and to have made a positive impact in her life.

Another experience that I cherish was volunteering at a local animal shelter. I have always had a love for animals, and this opportunity was a dream come true for me. I got to spend time with the animals, playing with them, feeding them and giving them the love and attention they needed. I was amazed at how each animal had its own personality and how they brought so much joy to everyone who visited the shelter. Through volunteering at the shelter, I got to connect with other animal lovers, and we bonded over our love for animals.

Volunteering has also given me the opportunity to develop new skills and interests. For example, I joined a local community garden where I learned how to grow and maintain a garden. I had no prior experience in gardening, but I was eager to learn and get my hands dirty. Through volunteering, I learned so much about gardening, and I even started growing my own vegetables at home.

In conclusion, volunteering is a great way to build community. It gives us the opportunity to connect with people, make a positive impact in someone’s life, and develop new skills and interests. I believe that by volunteering, we can create a sense of community and bring people together. Whether it is helping at a food bank, animal shelter, or community garden, every volunteer experience is unique and fulfilling in its own way. So, if you haven’t already, I encourage you to find a volunteer opportunity that aligns with your passions and values and join the journey to building a stronger community.

Guest Blogger

Panos Kalsos



Time Is Money - Guest Blog

Published: Jan 25, 2023 @ 8:18 AM

Understanding the privilege of having more time

The saying ‘time is money’ has been around for ages. Benjamin Franklin popularized the term in his 18th-century essay “Advice to a Young Tradesmen.” Since then, there has increasingly been a shift in the mindset around time and how to spend it. In general, societal and technological advancements have given us more spare time. The question then becomes: how do we spend it? In the volunteering sector, we can go one step further and consider how one’s spare time compares to others.

Being aware of your privilege

Much of our view on privilege centers around money. Growing up without having to think about money is a privilege. If you grew up without worrying about where your next meal came from, that is a privilege. If you didn’t need to get a job to support your family as soon as you were old enough to work, that is also a privilege. If you can retire and live off a pension, investments, or savings, that is also a privilege. If time is money, we should consider having spare time a privilege.

All the time in the world

How do we gauge this privilege of time? You might get a different answer for every person you ask. But to get a general idea you can look at the American Time Use Study (2022). This study found that 96 percent of people aged 15 and over, spend an average of 5.25 hours a day on leisure activities. This includes things like exercise, watching TV, and socializing. Social media drives a lot of our modern culture. It's no surprise that the Canadians Internet Report (2022) reveals that on average, Canadians spend one hour and fifty-three minutes daily on various social media platforms. The purpose of highlighting these statistics is not to shame anyone — leisure time is important. The purpose is to understand that in general, we have an excess of time for leisure. But that is not true for every person.

Volunteering is a privilege

In 2021, almost one million Canadians held two or more jobs (Statista 2021). The number of single-parent homes in Canada has risen to almost two million (Statista 2022). If you were to survey these families, a common theme you might find would be a lack of time. It's important to understand that when a person volunteers, they do so out of the privilege of having spare time. It is out of this privilege that individuals can give their time to local non-profits, schools their children attend, or religious institutions.

Volunteering with humility and purpose

Too often, volunteering is not only a way of doing good but to be seen as doing good. Volunteering can be a good thing. It can provide invaluable support to communities that lack certain resources, while also providing a sense of purpose or fulfillment to volunteers. What it should not be, is something that elevates your status over others. Specifically, those who do not have the privilege of time to volunteer similar hours, or volunteer at all.

Instead of thinking about how being a volunteer can serve you best, shift your mindset. How could you change your community if you sought out the most practical ways to serve it? How can you champion community initiatives that best support those without the privilege of extra time? Grocery delivery, meal-sharing, and after-school programs are all practical ways of giving people more time. Just something to think about when deciding how and where to serve. And remember — a little awareness and humility go a long way.



Be Kind To One Another

Published: Jan 11, 2023 @ 12:54 PM

The following is a true story that reminds us to Walk a Mile in another's shoes in order to eliminate judgement. 

The ladies worked their way through the racks of clothing, one looking for the perfect outfits, the other hanging back unsure. They chatted about colours and styles, and with her arms full, the gregarious one coordinated the outfits on the racks in the dressing room.

“We are ready”, she chimed. “I have put together the outfits and when you try them on I will help you determine how you can mix and match. Are you ready?”

“Before you judge my life, my past or my character. Walk in my shoes, walk the path I have traveled, live my sorrow, my doubts, my fear, my pain and my laughter. Remember everyone has a story. “ Susan R. Sharma

A smile crossed the quiet ladies face, and she looked at her new friend.

“ I guess I am ready”, she said. “ I am not so sure about the dresses. I really don’t look so great in dresses.”

“That is because you haven’t tried the right ones on. Just wait and see.”

“I think we have some perfect ones, and if that doesn’t turn out to be, then I will definitely find the right one. Don’t you worry, we have a lot to choose from”.

And with that she went into the dressing room to start trying things on. She came out with the first dress.

“Now look at that, it fits like a glove. “ said her gregarious new friend. “Have a look in the mirror”.

She stood in front of the mirror, and a smile started to spread across her face.

“Here, I have grabbed a gorgeous pair of shoes that would really work”. Not sure if they are your size, but give them a try.

She slipped the shoes on, and as her friend placed a necklace gently around her neck. She looked in the mirror again, and this time it was hard to contain the smile.

“I haven’t looked like this or felt this pretty in a long time”.

“Well sometimes you just need to see yourself through another’s eyes”. “Next outfit, this one is a keeper don’t you think?”

A small chuckle could be heard coming from the dressing room as she went to try the next outfit.

She tried on outfit after outfit, and each time she came out her shoulders were held a little steadier. Her eyes a little brighter, and the strain on her face a little less pronounced.

When they were done with all the work clothing, her new friend handed her a fancy dress. “Try this one on she exclaimed, it looks like it was made for you.”

“Oh but I have nowhere to wear that. “

“Don’t you worry, a girl needs a fancy dress in her closet for when the opportunity presents itself. “ “Just try it on, and you will see”.

The dress was elegant, the silky black material hung gracefully from the bodice. It flowed beautifully and ended just above the knee.

Her friend placed her in front of the mirror, see now how could you possibly live without this dress? It is perfect on you, as she placed a necklace on her.

“Wow, I must admit it is pretty beautiful, and not half bad on me, she chuckled.” She twirled a little on the way to the dressing room, perhaps it would be great for dancing”.

With that they both had a laugh. “Well I will package up all your things, when you have changed have a look at the handbags and I will meet you up front”.

She came back with a handbag of her choosing, and smiled at her new friend. “I seriously cannot thank you all enough, this is the nicest thing that has happened to me in a very long time. I had no idea how I was going to get the clothing for work”.

She was met with a hug, and well wishes. “You are going to look the part for your next interview that is for sure”.

“Can I help you out to your car?”

They grabbed the bags, and headed out to the car. Once the bags were placed in the trunk, she looked up with her eyes a little strained and said to her new friend. “I need you to know that I was you – once”. “I too had a family, I volunteered helping others and had a life”. “And then I went through a bitter divorce, and this is me now”. “I am so very grateful for your help”.

Their eyes locked, and the volunteer nodded. Then she grabbed her in an embrace, and said “good luck to you my friend.” Tears streamed down her face, as she watched her drive away.

As she walked back in the door, with tears in her eyes she was met with a hug and “Are you Okay?”

“I am more than okay, she said. This is why I come here, to remember that everyone has a story.” “It’s been a good day”.


Be Kind to one another. Remember to walk a mile in another's shoes. 

This is a true story that occurred at Making Changes – Dress for Success

Guest Blog by

Jacquie McCarroll 




Wakanda Forever - Guest Blog

Published: Dec 5, 2022 @ 2:09 PM

Our Heroes and Why Representation Matters

With Halloween fresh in the rear-view mirror, and Wakanda Forever taking over the box office, it feels like an appropriate time to talk about heroes. When I recall the painstaking process of choosing a Halloween costume as a kid, one issue sticks out: I had no clue what I wanted to be. Often I ended up dressing up as a chef (after my dad), a ninja, or a pirate. It was always something generic that could be easily thrown together. Looking back, I realize that a major contributing factor was not feeling that I looked like my favourite characters – Superman, Batman, or those in the Star Wars universe at the time. The Marvel Cinematic Universe has begun to change this in a big way. With Black Panther, Shang Chi, and most recently Wakanda Forever, there now exists superheroes for Black, Chinese, and Mexican kids (and adults) to see themselves reflected in.

What does this have to do with volunteering? When I look back at the lack of representation on the big screen, I also am reminded of real-life heroes. Closer to home, other than my father, whenever there was someone to look up to, there was a lack of people who looked like me. To be clear, it’s not something I could have communicated to anyone at the time. Looking back, I realize that there was a lack of diversity in volunteers at the schools, community events, and churches I attended. When I think about the “role models” like policemen, firemen, or musicians who came to speak at a school assembly, I can’t recall a single person of colour among them. As an adult, I can now see the community around me lacked diversity. But as a child, you are often unable to choose the adults that surround you, and potentially influence you.

This is my experience. And I know I am not alone in this. Representation in volunteerism gives people—especially children—role models they can picture themselves being like. It provides an example of a person they can model themselves after. It gives them a hero—someone they can act like, someone they can dress like, and someone they can serve like. Proper representation of Black, Indigenous, and people of colour (BIPOC) volunteers in communities will increase the likelihood of inspiring people of all ages to serve their communities. Representation in volunteering has the potential to support communities in organic service rather than traditional charitable or philanthropic efforts.

I did not live in communities with large numbers of BIPOC individuals growing up. Organizations must increase representation on every level and in every community because it's not just important for the BIPOC kid to see themselves reflected in a role model, but because it’s also imperative to seek diversity across communities to increase inclusion and social cohesion. It starts at the grassroots with volunteers and ensuring barriers for racialized individuals to participate are meaningfully addressed. Therefore, organizations must increase representation on every level, in every community—not just those with higher BIPOC populations. We must also set out to encourage people of colour to seek out places to serve and provide a positive influence for the next generation. Because in the end, everyone needs heroes.



Developing An Anti-racist Approach To Volunteering - Guest Blog

Published: Nov 17, 2022 @ 10:40 AM

Strategies for inclusion and empowerment

It’s important to shape and equip volunteer-driven organizations and campaigns to serve diverse communities. To do this, organizations must commit to concrete actions that address structural and systemic racism and a lack of representation among volunteers. Dismantling racism takes more than words, thoughts, and prayers. True transformation in volunteering requires a commitment to address the structural and systemic barriers perpetuated by racism.

Data on diversity and racialized communities

Data and research, or the absence of it, are often cited as reasons not to act. There is a glaring need for more data surrounding racialized communities. The deliberate lack of data collection, or the weaponization of data (Milner & Traub 2021), have been tools for perpetuating racism in racialized communities. As Mutamba and Rock (2022) note, “A larger and disaggregated data set will give us better insight into the experiences of racism and colonization in the volunteer sector.” While there is a great deal of learning ahead regarding the challenges and barriers faced by Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour (BIPOC), we must forge ahead, and use the information we have available to take steps toward anti-racism today.

Diversity and representation as a starting point

A simple way to begin is by researching the demographics of the communities you serve. You can then take steps to mirror them in your organization's diversity. Information on diversity within communities is available from the Government of Canada (2022). Take time to investigate and understand the immediate needs in those communities. Different municipalities like the City of Calgary (2022) have outlined community needs and made this information publicly available. Develop an understanding of how the needs of a community and the demographics of racialized individuals within that community are often correlated. This will provide a framework to understand whom you are serving, ways in which you can ensure their voices are heard, and how best to serve the needs of a community.

Four keys to adopting an anti-racist approach to volunteering

Education and implementation are important when developing an anti-racist approach to volunteering. The journey towards anti-racism is a cultural shift. This requires an understanding of what equity, diversity, and inclusion mean. It is important to acknowledge how each individual may contribute to racism and how our systems and structures perpetuate racism and inequality. This will inform you how to change your organization's approach to volunteering. Here are four keys you can focus on to start on the right path.

Move away from a colourblind approach

Historically, to promote equality, harmful and reductive “colourblind” practices were developed around the inclusion of racialized individuals.  “Not seeing colour” has the opposite effect regarding inclusion. It fails to acknowledge the individual by not understanding their unique and intersecting identities, experiences, or trauma. Further, “[diversity and inclusion] is more complex than just numbers. Simply adding more ‘colour’, does not create inclusive cultures in which BIPOC people can be authentic and thrive” (Roche & Passmore 2022). To empower any volunteer, regardless of race, it’s important to shift from a colourblind approach and acknowledge the unique identities of every individual.

Research intercultural definitions of volunteering

The more you develop an intercultural understanding of what volunteering means, the more you can have an impact in serving diverse communities. In his book Perspectives on Volunteering, Mario Roitters outlines the importance of understanding how different cultures perceive what it means to volunteer. An excerpt from the chapter on volunteerism in Latin cultures sheds light on the cultural differences that exist surrounding volunteering, “In Latin America, the problem lies in the fact that a certain number of these types of actions performed are considered merely good manners. Such actions rarely evoke the notion of volunteerism, as they do in the context of developed countries. Therefore, a voluntary act differs from one cultural context to another.” (M. Roitters 2017). Understanding these cultural differences will set your organization up for success in recruiting and retaining diverse volunteers.

Understand the barriers encountered by BIPOC volunteers

It's important to understand your volunteers' cultural and racial identities, the situations they are stepping into, and the communities they are trying to serve. This will allow you to navigate the risks of harmful and triggering situations. As Mutamba and Rock (2022) observe, “People across racial identities experience barriers to volunteering. BIPOC participants reported facing more barriers across every single category. There is not a single step in the volunteer screening practice that does not impose significant barriers for BIPOC participants.” In their study, Mutamba and Rock list several barriers, including police checks, access to first aid training, and owning a personal vehicle. Studies have shown that race and poverty often intersect to prevent social integration[NA1]  (Lin and Harris 2009). When we talk about seeing colour and understanding racial trauma, it is important to consider how your organization can help address these obstacles or explore alternatives that acknowledge the barriers racialized volunteers often face.

Develop anti-racist volunteer strategies through collaboration

Partner with BIPOC individuals within your organization. Empower them by inviting them to lead the change, yet be mindful of how it may contribute to their overall responsibilities and workload. Respect the choice of racialized individuals to abstain from driving this work. Offer education on topics surrounding racism, making sure to create a safe space for discussion. “The cornerstone for a productive and respectful conversation on racism or other related issues is centered on ensuring the psychological safety of everyone who is part of the conversation.” (Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion 2020). Awareness is grown through workshops, guest speakers, and BIPOC-written educational material.

Find local BIPOC-led organizations and learn from them, ensuring fair compensation. If your goal is to understand racialized communities and adopt strategies to better partner with and serve them, try to engage organizations already doing this work. Racialized individuals have been serving their communities for a long time. Partner with them, learn from them, and support the work they are already doing.

Set yourself up for success

The more you understand the complexities of racial identity and trauma in light of structural and systemic racism, the more you can equip your organization to take an anti-racist approach in volunteering. The success of any organization striving to take an anti-racist approach in volunteering will depend on how well it educates those in the organization, seeks out representation, and empowers BIPOC individuals to help drive change.




Volunteer Your Time, Yet Also Your Ideas - Guest Blog Part 2 of 2

Published: Nov 9, 2022 @ 1:17 PM

For Part 1 of 2 from Subibe please check it out here - Volunteer Your Time, Yet Also Your Ideas - (Part 1 of 2)


Volunteer Your Time, Yet Also Your Ideas - (Part 2 of 2)

You don’t have to be a Board member to contribute; most non-profit organizations will have Committees to tackle such areas and usually consist of Board members rather than other volunteers, aside from the realm of event participation. The reality is, if these Committee are to achieve their mandates, there is at times, a substantial amount of work required. Not all Board members have the time to dedicate to these endeavours. 

As such, allow me to suggest some ideas, and I do this knowing that not everyone will agree with my perspective. 

Imagine you were a non-Board member volunteer; you might not have a seat on a committee yet could you propose doing a client needs survey for the Marketing Committee? Or, how about a small research project on comparable organization job descriptions and salary ranges for the HR Committee?  Better yet, use your social media savvy to guide the organization with their \ Communication and PR strategy. Maybe you even have some insight on how they might improve their Search Engine Optimization (SEO) initiatives. Are you on the creative side and can contribute towards a video production or develop other marketing material? Moreover, training videos in any realm are always very useful. 

These objectives can be very specific with an objective estimated time to completion so if you can't manage a long-term commitment, it can almost be project based. Furthermore, some out there might think that their experience and CV might not carry enough weight to make it on to a Board. If you come in as a volunteer and work on initiatives or projects that garner great results, you might merit Board consideration. 

My three additional suggestions would be:

  • Consider your own time before making such commitments. In other words, don’t over commit to something you can’t deliver upon. 
  • If you are offering to do work that it will indeed involve work. 
  • Talk to someone who has done something like this before, especially if you are interested in a seat on the Board.  Anyone who has volunteered in such a role is already someone you know is willing to offer their time. They would likely offer it to you as well. Gain from their experience and maybe even learn from their mistakes. 

There is plenty of room to volunteer your time, yet also your ideas.

Subibe Choudhury



Volunteer Your Time, Yet Also Your Ideas - Guest Blog

Published: Nov 2, 2022 @ 6:06 PM

For the next 2 weeks on the blog we welcome guest Subibe Choudhury, MBA, C.Adm., BCom. Founder and Principal Facilitator at Vis-à-Vis Leadership, Non-Executive Director and VP at AMCAL Family Services based in Montreal, QC. Author of 4 books available on Amazon Kindle. Subibe takes great pride in understanding that in today’s workforce, recognition, autonomy, proper health, and stress management, respecting diversity and differences and facilitating life balance are at the core of a humanistic approach to HR. His perspective on leadership can be summarized by one phrase, “leadership development starts with self-reflection.”

Volunteer Your Time, Yet Also Your Ideas - (Part 1 of 2)

A few years ago, when I was asked to put forth my candidacy for a seat on the Board of a local non-profit, my first reaction was, “I don’t think I have the time.”

Granted, like most people, I had done volunteer work throughout my life yet a seat on a Board seemed much more substantial and would require a sustained commitment. And, in truth, yes, such an opportunity does require a more sustained commitment than volunteering on occasion or for a one-off charitable event. And, let me just say, it is well worth it. Before I elaborate, for me, aside from engaging in a cause that I believed in, the opportunity needed to be one that was not just for the sake of placing on my CV. It needed to be an opportunity for me to contribute, yet also, learn and grow. We often hear the benefits of volunteering as an act of giving, yet from my experience, the rewards can go in both directions beyond what is typically considered. No doubt, your time, effort, and energy can be spent helping and contributing towards a good cause. Also, for your own benefit, you might meet new people and increase your socialization among many other typical benefits.

Digging a bit deeper, consider that a lot of non-profits function under tight budgets and face a lack of funding yet need to work in some respect as a business. These limitations may result in a lack of adequate staffing for the day-to-day work that needs to be done. The staff often wear many hats and that is where a volunteer that is committed and engaged can really make a difference in a non-typical way. Aside from working directly towards the cause or with clients, non-profit organizations must deal with Human Resources (HR), Marketing, Fundraising, Public Relations, Communication, Governance, Event Planning, Financial matters, Technology and more.

If you looked at the list above as a standalone paragraph, you might think I was listing the curriculum for a business school program. The beauty of this reality is two-fold.

First, if you have experience in these realms, your contributions can be greatly impactful and appreciated. Next, if you don’t have experience in these realms, this is an opportunity for you to join, learn and grow.

Stay tuned for part two next week!

Subibe Choudhury



Have A Story About Being A Good Human?

Published: Oct 26, 2022 @ 3:29 PM

We love to feature guest writers here on the blog.  ​Do have a knack for storytelling? Are you passionate about engaged communities? Do you care about people finding their interests and expressing their talents in a way that benefits others?

We are looking for people to share their experience with volunteerism, mutual aid or just generally trying to be a good human as guest writers on our blog! 

Stories should be 200-400 words and reflect a personal experience. Feeling interested but also a little stumped? Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • A volunteer opportunity that shifted your perspective.
  • An experience every human should have.
  • A cause that taught you something.
  • A beautiful moment brought to you by helping someone
  • Volunteering as a way to build community. 
  • An unexpected skill you used or learned by helping someone or volunteering for an organization.

Stories can be submitted directly via, please include a couple sentences about yourself so we can share that when we publish. 

This is a chance to utilize your writing and editing abilities. An opportunity to be published on a national platform that supports people engaging in their community. A full heart knowing your words are inspiring other people to find a cause they care about.


Ready? Set? Go! Ahem. Go! Umm… Go? - Guest Blog (3 of 3)

Published: Jul 11, 2022 @ 3:50 PM

Following on from last week's Guest Blog - Part 2 of 3, here is the continuation in Part 3 of 3 ... 


STEP 2 – Get Set. Start looking.

Finding volunteer opportunities that will be a good fit for you is the next step. Of course, you can go directly to an organization’s website and see their list of opportunities. As well there are excellent databases (such as VolunteerConnector) where you can see a substantial number of opportunities listed all in one place! I caution you to keep focused (see Step 1-A) because it can be easy to drift down the volunteer opportunity rabbit hole only to emerge exhausted hours later and to walk away from your phone or computer thinking, “I’ll just look more later”, only to never come back (remember, we humans are impulsive!)

Many post secondary institutes have their own listings, so don’t forget about those if you want to increase your chance of volunteering with other students. More and more, businesses exercise corporate social responsibility and provide their staff with opportunities to volunteer as a group, so keep an eye out for notices from HR. Talk to friends or colleagues about where they happily volunteer for ideas.

STEP 3 – Go!

All that self reflection, answering all those questions, pouring over databases, and talking to other people has paid off – you have found an organization with whom you want to work. Now you just have to connect with them. Apply. Ask questions. Go to the interview. Attend the training. And get ready for a great experience!

Amanda Sokol from