Where can I volunteer in the East End?

DECA's Sleep Out for Syrians event in 2015 drew a number of volunteers and community supporters. PHOTO: Beach Metro News file

Finding somewhere to volunteer can be difficult, as noted by a recent letter we received. While many volunteer positions require a long-term commitment and/or a detailed application process, we have compiled a few volunteer opportunities that you can get involved with which require much fewer ‘hoops’ to jump through — and which may act as a first-step towards a more committed volunteer role.

Do it for Dads Father’s Day Walk-Run

Prostate Cancer Canada is still recruiting volunteers for its annual walk-run. The event takes place at Ashbridges Bay on June 18, and raises funds and awareness for prostate cancer research. Volunteers can start as early as 6:30 a.m., and the event should be finished by 12:30 p.m. Those who are interested should contact anne@prostatecancer.ca or Kelly.amaral@prostatecancer.ca.

East Lynn Park Farmers’ Market

The Danforth East Community Association (DECA) has a few flexible opportunities for volunteering at the East Lynn Farmers’ Market. Volunteers can help by signing up for a shift at the DECA booth, or can also help by being culinary volunteers, cooking meals for the farmers each week. Those who are interested can sign up via the links or email volunteer@deca.to for more details.

Community Centre 55

According to Jade Maitland, the special events and volunteer coordinator for Community Centre 55, most of their volunteer opportunities are special events such as Slobberfest, the Santa Parade and Breakfast with Hamper. Centre 55 has no detailed application process and the commitment is minimal and flexible. Those wanting to volunteer can call Jade at 416-691-1113 ext 224 or email her at jade@centre55.com.

Habitat for Humanity

Habitat for Humanity has a number of volunteer opportunities, and signing up to volunteer is *really* easy. After signing up for an account on their website, which requires you to watch a safety video and go over some other information, you can schedule a shift. For those who don’t want to volunteer on a build site, you can also volunteer in the ReStore, provided you complete one hour of training. There is also no minimum volunteering commitment other than staying for an entire shift. One downside — most of the current GTA build-sites are somewhat far away, so may not be accessible to those who don’t drive.

Why all the hoops?

Some organizations can have lengthy application processes, or more ‘hoops’ to jump through to start helping out. According to Volunteer Toronto, this can be for a number of reasons. If you are volunteering with vulnerable groups, such as children or seniors, you will need to get a vulnerable sector screening from the Toronto Police, which according to the TPS website, takes 10 business days to process. According to Volunteer Toronto, application and training lengths also differ based on the skills required for each volunteer position. Despite this however, there are many organizations where you can volunteer for specific events if you keep an eye out for when they come up. Keep an eye out for charity runs and food bank events, as these are usually volunteering opportunities which require no long term commitment. To look through more volunteering opportunities, you can also visit https://volunteertoronto.site-ym.com/networking/opening_search.asp.


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