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. Supporting your health and community are two great reasons to consider volunteering! 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: This organization posts up to date volunteer listings on their website. They also host many local events (in the daytime and evening) that help to connect volunteers with local non-profits. They also offer workshops to help first time volunteers.
- CHARITY VILLAGE: This organization posts up to date volunteer (and job) opportunities on their website. They also host many online courses for new volunteers.