Across Canada there are more than 200 Volunteer Centres, which are non-profit organizations or groups dedicated to fostering and developing volunteerism in communities. These centres serve a broad membership that includes both individual volunteers and the organizations that benefit from their time and skills.
Every Volunteer Centre is run in a way that best suits its particular location and needs, and each has its own website.
“Last year we matched over 40,000 volunteers with organizations, which was the equivalent of $9 million worth of labour,” says Volunteer Ottawa Executive Director William Coukell. “The volunteers deliver a range of what we call ‘programs,’ which includes feeding people at missions and working with children in schools or patients at hospitals.”
Jessica Reynolds, Volunteer Toronto’s director of communications, cites several reasons for that interest, whether it’s because someone wants to gain experience before re-entering the workforce after a medical leave or years of stay-at-home parenting, needs to perform community service after being charged with a minor criminal offence or is a new immigrant looking to engage in his or her community.