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Getting Volunteer Hours in Quarantine? Pt. 2

Updated: Dec 29, 2021

Today, let's revisit an old and important topic; the esoteric issue explained, part 2!

 

Introduction

Over the course of 2020, the looming shadow of volunteer hours has been growing and haunting the outskirts of the average student's mind. However, it's pertinent that we conquer and face our greatest worries and fears, to finally move forward and into the future. Thus, let's dive into the wonderous world of volunteer work, once more!

 

Lone Opportunities


All throughout Canada, countless options exist for those of to get out there and do our civil duty. Moreover, the holidays usually see a large influx of new volunteers, and so too does the need for them increase. Here are some independent programs and electives that might interest you:





Note: Project Uni is in no way affiliated with any of the organizations below.

  • Amnesty International: Amnesty International is a popular, global non-profit organization seeking to stand up for injustices, and inequity worldwide. Options range from joining/managing an action circle, organizing events, joining a sponsored activism group, or going solo.

  • Stay In Touch: Stay In Touch is all about connecting with some of the most vulnerable and isolated people in our society. The initiative's main goal is to reconnect the disconnected elderly with willing participants and volunteers. Submissions can range from a simple letter, to poetry, to a video; the limit to your post is equal to your creativity.

  • UN Volunteers: The Untied Nations offers numerous chances for the people of the world to volunteer and assist several noble causes. In addition, the majority of these opportunities are available online and from anywhere. Options vary depending on the skills required to execute them; examples include (but are not limited to): writing and editing, teaching and training, translation, technology development, and event organization. Be aware, windows for signing up don't last long, so apply as soon as possible, and make sure you're ready for that responsibility!

 

Detailed Databases

In reality, it's difficult to keep track of so much information and keep all of this information constantly up to date and correct. Luckily, there exist numerous databases for such a problem; large stores of easy to access information on volunteering around Canada. So please consider the following:


Note: Project Uni is in no way affiliated with any of the organizations below.

  • Volunteer Canada: Volunteer Canada is a charity organization that provides vast swaths of information regarding volunteer opportunities, advice, and resources. In addition, it goes both ways; there is something to be gained for volunteers and organizations looking for volunteers. Volunteer centres sorted by province and specifications for online opportunities (e.g. Saskatchewan and "Volunteer Connector") , resources categorized by specific need (e.g. "Sector Advocacy"), Webinars and recordings, and so much more. Exclusive to Canada.

  • Canada Service Corps: Canada Service Corps is an online collection of a wide-range of volunteer opportunities all over the country, hosted by the Government of Canada.

  • Spark Ontario: Located in Ontario (unsurprisingly), Spark Ontario is the "Indeed" of volunteering in Ontario. Spark acts as the middleman for the interaction between you and your potential employer. New opportunities crop up constantly, so if you don't get your desired position, there are truly more fish in the sea. However, volunteer hour distribution and job requirements vary depending upon the work. COVID aware (virtual volunteering) opportunities, Exclusive to Ontario. [Note: AS OF OCT. 2021, SPARK ONTARIO HAS SHUTDOWN]

  • Go Volunteer: If you need a specific, location oriented volunteering opportunity, then you need Go Volunteer. Go Volunteer is very similar to Spark Ontario, in that it connects volunteers and not-for-profits together. Simply input a postal code, city, or other significant location, and you'll be matched with listings in your area! However, just like Spark Ontario, volunteer hour distribution, COVID aware opportunities (virtual volunteering), and job requirements vary depending upon the work. Exclusive to Canada.

 

Find What YOU Love


Just like last time, we're rounding off with the best piece of advice that we can offer you. That is, find what YOU love to do, what YOU are passionate about, and what you can see yourself committing to. We often have students ask us about what's more important: volunteering somewhere that helps their applications, or doing what they love. Our answer? It's subjective, and really depends on you. While it's important to build your personal brand and impress the admissions officers, it's equally important to be well-rounded and build your skills and interests in other fields too; often, universities often prefer a jack of all trades rather than a master of one.

 

Conclusion

Volunteering isn't just about the hours or materialistic gains. The essence of volunteering is in the act of giving back, and all of the experiences, skills, and people you meet. Especially during the holidays and the pandemic, it's more important than ever to get your 40 (or sometimes 20) hours in.

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