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Volunteer Spirit

Published: Mar 1, 2022 @ 8:50 AM

This pandemic has been long, and it’s been hard on a lot of people. Do you know what brings us together as Canadians? It’s the volunteer spirit that lives in each of us! What is volunteering to Canadians?

Volunteering is about making an impact in each other’s lives. Every single day across this country. Every single time you volunteer you make a difference in someone’s life as well as your own life. By creating new connections, your heart opens toward your neighbours. 

Volunteering is about making new connections. It’s about getting out of your house and into the community. It’s about expanding your relationships. Volunteering is about finding your place with a whole new group of friends. A place to belong.

Volunteering is finding a place of belonging in a world that is often isolating. When we belong, volunteering offers us personal growth and self-worth and improved mental health. When barriers are removed our impact is true, our connections are strengthened, and we find our place to belong. 

 

 

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Barriers To Volunteering

Published: Feb 16, 2022 @ 3:23 PM

man standing in front of traffic barriersWhat are the barriers you experience when setting out on your volunteer journey? Well we asked volunteers and we got a surprising and not so surprising response:

"There is not a single step in the volunteer screening practice that does not impose significant barriers for BIPOC participants. The biggest barrier for BIPOC participants was personal references. There are many possible reasons for this, but it does highlight the white western influence of volunteering towards a capitalist and institutional HR experience."

Read more in An Anti-Racist Approach to Volunteering

 

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Volunteering Is Belonging

Published: Feb 8, 2022 @ 2:52 PM

Volunteering has often been understood as "giving back" or "networking" or "skill development" but consider the word - BELONGING - and what that might mean to you.

From the report, An Anti-Racist Approach to Volunteering:

Volunteering and having your effort recognized gives participants a sense of belonging. When people feel valued, that value is reflected in the way they make meaning of their lives. This is important for personal growth and self-worth. Many participants indicate that volunteering is important for their mental health, and we need to consider the effects of removing these opportunities. When these opportunities are not available because of barriers, we are denying people the personal benefits that come from volunteering.

 

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FAQ Videos: Signup & Schedule

Published: Feb 3, 2022 @ 2:45 PM

For those of you looking for a bit more insight into the features on the VolunteerConnector we have a bunch of videos on the Get Support & Learn page.

In the meantime here is a complete Overview of Signup to get you started followed by a special highlight on the Scheduling Tool.

 

Overview of Organization Signup & Profile

 

Special Profile of Scheduling Tool

 

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Support The Work

Published: Jan 25, 2022 @ 2:42 PM

We don’t often talk about it but in the last couple of weeks many of you have reached out to ask how you can support the work of the VolunteerConnector. The work being:

  • Quickly connecting individuals to community organizations/grassroots initiatives
  • Simple management tools for organizers to engage individuals
  • Identifying and removing barriers to those connections and engagements like the Antiracist Approach to Volunteering Report

If you are part of one of the 4000+ organizing groups using the VolunteerConnector then it’s easy. Simply login to your account, look to the lower left and click on “Subscription” and look for the Upgrade Now button. This is a simple $10/month subscription that gives you added management tools and helps us to identify future upgrades.

If you are one of the millions of individuals visiting the platform each year who would like to support the work, then it’s easy as well. Simply click on the Donation button here and follow the steps to make a one-time donation or monthly recurring one. All donations receive a charitable tax receipt.

BTW, all the revenue from subscriptions and donations go to improving the VolunteerConnector experience for everyone and adding in new features that further remove the barriers to your #communityconnection.

Finally ... never quit doing the beautiful work each of you do every, single day to make our communities great!

 

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An Anti-Racist Approach To Volunteering

Published: Jan 12, 2022 @ 11:45 AM

Thanks to work funded by City of Calgary FCSS and our ongoing work and friendship with Dr Moyo Mutamba, we were able to complete what we hope is the start of a deeper dive into understanding the colonial structures inherent in volunteerism. Here is an excerpt from the report:

"We can assume that asking racialized people to interact with the police to request a police check could be triggering, but we would be remiss in not understanding more about this experience. How many people are affected by this potentially harmful practice and what other barriers do BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) volunteers face in the sector?

We knew that to get a clear picture of these issues in our sector, we needed concrete data from volunteers."

Find the full report here - An Anti-Racist Approach to Volunteering

 

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Make A Difference In 2022

Published: Jan 6, 2022 @ 2:10 PM

This is the type of thing that frustrates me. If you think society works just fine then this post and article aren’t for you.

Government admits there’s a resourcing issue and the solution for youth mental health is to punt into nonprofit land. This would be fine and even perhaps better for the individual IF nonprofits weren’t a) chronically underfunded and b) put under undue administrative burden just to collect and report on those precious little resources.

If you think society works just fine then this post and article aren’t for you. I’m telling you though … our “great” society is so broken and aligned to the wrong values and articles like this expose it yet again.

Simple answer of what to do until society wakes up … increase your 2022 donations to nonprofits, without strings attached, let them do their great work of being our social safety net. Your $50-100 a month makes a massive difference in a nonprofit or charity!

CBC Article - Kids in Crisis

 

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This Is It For 2021!

Published: Dec 16, 2021 @ 1:42 PM

This is our last post for 2021. It has been a wild ride. We laughed, we cried, and we continued to stare at each other in tiny boxes on the computer. We hope this time of year brings you all some rest and time with people you adore. We are looking forward to connecting again in 2022 and seeing what next year brings. Stay tuned for our look forward...we have big dreams!

If you are looking for a break from the people you adore or you have maxed out on rest, check out this awesome resource from our friends at PIN Network

 

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Welcome Dr. Megan Conway

Published: Dec 7, 2021 @ 8:36 AM

We are thrilled to join our colleagues across Canada in welcoming Dr. Megan Conway as she begins her tenure as President and CEO of Volunteer Canada. Megan comes with an extensive background in the public and charitable sector which all started as a volunteer. She shares cool art on her twitter (https://mobile.twitter.com/bedothink) and she loves the snow. We look forward to welcoming her to the Rocky Mountains where we can go snow biking through the extensive trail system and enjoy all the public art sights whist chatting about equity, anti-racism and volunteerism! 

 

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Finding The Fit

Published: Nov 30, 2021 @ 8:32 AM

a magnifying glassThere are over 4000 organizations on VolunteerConnector so every day there are new opportunities posted to inspire and engage people in their communities. There is a shoe for every foot- you can be remote, in person, one time or frequent, options galore for causes! Thanks to all these organizations for creating innovative ways for people to engage. Here are a couple interesting ones that have caught our eye over the past couple weeks: 

This one from John Humphrey Centre for Peace and Human Rights - reasearch ... Love that it is open to anyone across Canada and that volunteers will learn/utilize qualitative and quantitative research skills! 

This one at the Alex - hairdresser ... Love that it’s an opportunity for someone to share their skill set to lift people’s self esteem. 

This one at the Brockville Public Library - library friend ... Love that you can feel the energy from the “why volunteer” section- super fun group of people indeed! 

 

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