With this week being National Volunteer Appreciation week from April 15th -21st , 2018, I thought I would showcase some of the volunteer opportunities in our Dufferin Community. As Winston Churchill once said, “You make a living by what you get. You make a life by what you give.” I truly believe in the sayings: “the window through which you give, is the window through which you receive” and “what goes around, comes around”. Everyone is busy, but are we productive? I believe charities rely on a three legged stool: Time, Talent or Treasury. If you don’t have the physical time to donate then maybe you can donate money (treasury) or your area of expertise (talent).
We have so many charities and volunteer opportunities in the Dufferin area, but where do you start? I would suggest if you have a passion or a personal charity you support, that you find out if there are volunteer opportunities within that organization. I used to be very involved in my children’s school when they were young. I felt like I ‘donated’ my time to the school. Now that they are grown up, I feel I am not as involved in the community as I used to be. I still support (financially) many charities but your time is equally as important. I had to inquire with a few charities I support, to find something that could work for my schedule and their needs. Currently I am helping with the Alzheimer’s Society Walk in May.
If you aren’t really sure where to begin, there is a website here in Dufferin called Volunteer Dufferin. This matching site where local charities post jobs/positions they are looking for and people can find spots where they may be best suited. There is a wide variety of charities on this site like the Canadian Cancer Society, the Alzheimer Society, Meals-On-Wheels and many more. This volunteer matching site gives you information on the various charities and positions they are looking to fill.
This site also has a Quiz to find out what type of volunteer you are. Maybe you are an Adventurer, maybe a Caregiver, etc. but this could help you find the type of volunteering activity that would be most suited to you. On this site you can build a profile and that way if an opportunity comes up that would be most suited to your profile, you would be notified so you don’t miss out. This is an excellent resource to know what different charities do in our community and what opportunities are available.
Our local high school students must complete 40 volunteer hours in order to graduate. This is an excellent resource for them to find a place that they can get their hours and make a difference. 40 hours seems like a lot but over a 4 year period it really is not. As well, if the student plans on post-secondary education, having a resume with an abundance of volunteer hours, gives them an advantage in getting accepted to their program of choice. I know from experience marks are important, but volunteer hours made the difference for my kids getting accepted to their programs of choice.
There are many empty nesters and retirees that do have some time that they could spare to help in the community. “Volunteers are not paid – not because they are worthless, but because they are priceless!”
We live in such a great community. Whenever tragedy strikes, we see so many rally to help. There are many charities working quietly behind the scenes that you would not even be aware of until you or a family member may need their services. Obviously one person cannot support every charity in our community but you can pick at least one and make a difference. “Volunteers do not necessarily have the time, they just have the heart.”