Where to Find Volunteer Opportunities: Part 1
High school students in Ontario are required to put in 40 hours of community service in order to graduate and earn their diploma. For many students, volunteering is not just something they have to do, it is something they genuinely enjoy. Volunteering not only benefits the general community, it benefits students by allowing them to form relationships, gain skills, and explore career options.
Your high school
You do not have to go far to find volunteer opportunities, because believe or not, your high school already has many! Students may volunteer in the library, assisting with book check-in and check-out and shelving. Students may volunteer in the front office, assisting with errands and paperwork. Students may volunteer as peer tutors. All of these opportunities likely take up just one or two hours a week, perhaps during your lunch period or after school.
Local hospitals and nursing homes
If you live close to a hospital or nursing home, these are also excellent places to volunteer! Search their websites for current openings or contact their volunteer coordinator. Volunteer positions can be quite diverse. For example, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto have volunteers in the gift shop, on nursing wards, as escorts, in wheelchair service, and in pet therapy, just to name a few! Because of the diversity of roles, you are bound to find one that suits you.
You can probably name three charitable organizations right now off of the top of your head. For example, UNICEF, Doctors Without Borders, and the Red Cross are the ones I came up with. Next, search their websites for volunteer opportunities. More well-known charities tend to have a lot of interested volunteers, so if you do not see an opening, do not be discouraged: check back again or ask to be put on an email list to be notified about future opportunities.
In this article, I covered three major places where you may find volunteer opportunities. This article is Part 1, and Part 2 will give you a few more ideas for finding volunteer opportunities- stay tuned!