Depending on who you speak to, the evolution of volunteering as a vital form of support for those in need – and or marginalized communities – can be viewed as either a good or a bad thing. Or, if you’re more politically inclined, it can be viewed as a bit of both. Regardless of your stance with respect to the former, there is no denying that “volunteers are the heartbeat of the charitable and non-profit sector”. And, volunteers often play an important role in helping to enrich the well-being of their local (and global) communities.
According to Imagine Canada, the “charitable and nonprofit sector contributes an average of 8.1% of total Canadian GDP, more than the retail trade industry and close to the value of the mining, oil and gas extraction industry”. This can be attributed – in no small part – to the contributions of the over 13 million charitable and non-profit sector volunteers. Further, according to Volunteer Toronto (one of Canada’s largest volunteer centres), “across Toronto, individuals of different ages, races and incomes are giving back to their communities in meaningful ways”. Each month the Volunteer Toronto website “receives over 30,000 visits from people looking for volunteer opportunities in the Toronto area”.
IT IS EASY TO START VOLUNTEERING:
Volunteering is a great way to support your community – or a cause that you believe in – and there is research that shows that volunteering can be great for your health . These are two great reasons to consider volunteering in your community! And, now you might want to ask the following: If I want to volunteer, how do I start? Well, you can start by visiting the following two websites, to learn about volunteer opportunities in your community and what you will need to do in order to take advantage of those opportunities.
- Volunteer Toronto posts up to date volunteer listings, and helps to connect volunteers to the organizations that need them.
- Charity Village is a popular online resource that hosts up to date volunteer (and job) opportunities.