Volunteering can be a fantastic experience for you.  In this time of COVID-19, it is a bit more challenging – many programs are either shut down or have to take tremendous precautions to protect their volunteers.  Some may not want to have new volunteers that have not received training etc.  Don’t be offended.  Some of the charitable organizations are also overwhelmed with need.   That being said there are many ways that you can assist some organizations in-person or remotely in your community in this time of need.

Volunteering can also be done informally.  You don’t need an organization to make a difference.  If you call friends and family that you may or may not normally be in contact with but you are concerned are socially isolated and may not have access to basic supplies that could be very helpful.  Helping them connect with resources in the community or if you are able to drop off some supplies outside their home can be very helpful.

There are many groups that you can volunteer with.  There are typically volunteer organizations or networks that coordinate volunteering in different areas and you might want to look them up and be in contact with them.

There is nationally Volunteer Canada which has lots of resources on volunteering including a list of different volunteer centres in different provinces.

Also, many non-profits and charities advertise volunteering activities on their website or social media.

In general, it is best to ask what the need is instead of assuming anything in particular.  A lot of well-meaning volunteers may not actually be helping anyone – even if they get a good feeling by “doing good”.

To find specific organizations you might want to Google search your “volunteer and _________[your area]”.  Or you can search for the type of volunteer experience you are looking for.    We have a database of 84,000 registered charities with data provided by the Canada Revenue Agency.  It does not have information on the 80-100,000 non-profits that are not registered charities.   You can access the website for free at www.CharityData.ca. You can use it for many things but specifically for searching for charities in your local area or charities by keywords.  It provides some uniform information on each charity that may be helpful.

Volunteering can be a positive experience for both yourself and the organization.  For many people, they may not have the strength or time to volunteer and for them, making a gift to a charity can be helpful or supporting a local non-profit organization.  If you have the time and skill to volunteer, then you can help out groups both locally, across Canada and even internationally.