Volunteer Gigs in Winter
In winter, many volunteer opportunities slow down or end completely, but others can continue or even start up for the season. You might already help with summer camp or community centre programs that end when students return to school, but some programs continue throughout the winter. You can also find your own way to help. Volunteering can be a year-round activity for people who think creatively.
The type of volunteer gig you choose depends on many factors, including what is available, what you are able and willing to do, and more. If you live in a city, for example, your opportunities to help with anything involving farm animals will be few, while other types of volunteering will be limited if you live in the country. A community full of elderly people will have different needs from those in a neighbourhood with young families. If you can have a dependable ride or can take the bus to your volunteer work, you will have more opportunities than you otherwise might have.
The first step in volunteering is to look at what is available. If a nearby seniors’ residence is open for visitors, for example, you could spend time every week visiting elderly people and talking with them. Opportunities might also be available to work with children at community centres, as long as these places have not closed due to pandemic restrictions.
Helping to distribute food and other necessities to low-income people is another option. You could assist at a soup kitchen, serving food or handing out mittens and other gifts to the people who come for help. You could do this work with your family or a group of friends, on a regular basis or just occasionally. This type of work is good for people who are interested in helping but who might not have certain skills needed for other types of volunteering.
If you have the opportunity and skills, you might want to consider options related to teaching. Tutoring online is a good choice for anyone who has knowledge to share. You might want to use your abilities in mathematics, writing, or other areas. Tutoring online may be your only option these days, but you might eventually be able to meet with your students in person.
Writing is a good choice for any time of the year. You could volunteer to write for a local community paper or for another publication. If you want to write about your experiences in the pandemic or another topic that you know about, you might be able to build up enough experience to get paid work as a writer in the future.
In winter, the opportunities for gardening are very limited, but you can consider volunteering at a greenhouse if one is in your area. That way, you can learn important techniques for growing plants and helping to keep them healthy. Even if no greenhouses are nearby, you could help out at a florist’s shop or other place where you could work with plants.
Working with Habitat for Humanity’s winter activities or a sports event could be good if they are available in your area. Helping at a ReStore or volunteering at winter games can be rewarding.
A very necessary winter task in much of Canada is snow clearing. If you can handle cold temperatures and are strong enough to lift heavy loads of snow, you could consider volunteering to shovel snow for your neighbours, grandparents, or others. This work can be physically demanding but very useful, especially if you help people with health problems.
Many volunteer opportunities are available for people who look for them, but you might need to do some research. Whether you want to make connections with others or just want to fill some of your time, finding a volunteer gig for winter can be a good decision.
Habitat for Humanity. “Volunteer Opportunities.” https://habitat.ca/en/volunteeropportunities.
Online ChristianColleges. “40 Creative Ways for Kids to Volunteer this Winter.” https://www.district205.net/cms/lib/IL01001003/Centricity/Domain/145/40_Creative_Ways_for_Kids_to_Volunteer_this_Winter.pdf
Sport Manitoba. “Become a Manitoba Games Volunteer!” https://www.sportmanitoba.ca/become-a-manitoba-games-volunteer/
Wells Fargo. “5 Ideas for Volunteering During the Winter Holidays. https://collegesteps.wf.com/ideas-volunteer-work-winter-holidays/.