Young professionals looking to give back to their community while using their newfound skills are in luck — they can register for Timeraiser.
“I had just graduated, my peers and I wanted to change the world,” said Toronto lawyer Juliet Knapton, who works with Timeraiser in Ottawa. “I wasn’t making the difference at work that I thought I would.”
Although she had time to give, Knapton wasn’t able to dedicate additional hours to find an organization that could use her specific talents. Enter Timeraiser, who matches volunteers with organizations that can make use of a particular skill set by working to solve the most common obstacles associated with volunteering.
Geared towards young professionals, Timeraiser is billed as ‘part volunteer fair, part silent art auction and part night on the town.’
The event facilitates matchups using a silent auction where volunteers can pledge a certain number of hours in the community as payment for art being auctioned during the evening.
While the bidding is underway, attendees are free to meet with agencies and discuss if there is a match for the skills they have to offer.
The events are a fun, low-risk environment filled with people passionate about volunteer work, and willing to put in the effort, Knapton explained.
“After going to the event, I thought ‘I can be a part of giving back,’” said Knapton. “You can’t lose.”
Knapton now sits on the board of a non-profit housing complex for single parents that provides on site guidance for tenants.
“Seeing the results in the children is amazing. Seeing them grow into happy, healthy, productive teens is so rewarding,” explained Knapton.
“It is an incredibly efficient, practical and clear way to match volunteers with agencies,” she explained. “These people are passionate about finding out what you have to offer, and what needs to be met in the community.”
Timeraisers promotes and facilitates civic engagement in six cities across Canada — Ottawa, Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton, Hamilton and Vancouver.
By matching volunteers with meaningful opportunities their hope is that people will not only get involved, but stay involved.
“There is nothing like feeling like you were part of someone else’s success,” said Knapton.
“Especially when you feel that person is in a particular place through no fault of their own.”
To date Timeraisers has raised over 61,000 hours for a variety of charities.