Where to Find Volunteer Opportunities, Part 2
In part 1 of this article series, I gave three common places where high school students may volunteer and fulfill the mandatory 40 hours of community service they need in order to earn their diploma. Their high school, local hospitals and nursing homes, and non-profit organizations they admire were the three. In part 2, I suggest three different other ways to find volunteer opportunities.
The Volunteer Toronto website
Volunteer Toronto is an amazing organization with a more than 40 years-long history of connecting those who want to volunteer and those who want volunteers. Their website has a search page (http://www.volunteertoronto.ca/networking/opening_search.asp) that allows you to really narrow down the options to exactly what you are looking for. Despite the presence of Toronto in the name, you can specify a country, a city, an organization, length of desired placement, as well as various categories such as “suitable for groups,” “wheelchair accessible,” and “fundraising.” If you really don’t know where to start your volunteer search, I highly recommend trying out the Volunteer Toronto search page. Adjust your criteria as needed if you end up with too many or too few volunteer opportunities.
The GoVolunteer website
GoVolunteer.ca is another established online tool that you can use. Its scope is narrower than Volunteer Toronto, because the opportunities it lists are only for non-profit organizations in British Columbia and Alberta. Their search page (http://www.govolunteer.ca/volunteer-opportunities) asks for your city or postal code, which will allow you to sort search results by distance to your location. Moreover, you are presented with a long list of charity categories, including indigenous services, youth development, environment and animals, disability services, and women’s services, and you may select any or all of them in your search. There are more advanced search options than the Volunteer Toronto website: for example, you may indicate your desired time of day, position type, and volunteer skills. Again, if you need to, adjust your search criteria to ensure you get a good number of options, not too many, not too few.
The Volunteer Canada website
Established in 1977, Volunteer Canada is yet another established organization that supports and facilities volunteering. What sets it apart from the above two is that Volunteer Canada works not only with volunteers and non-profit organizations, it works with businesses, governments, and educational institutions. Another thing that sets is apart is that instead of giving you a search page, Volunteer Canada has put together a Volunteer Quiz! It has questions like, “When friends sell tickets to a fundraiser, which cause are you likely to support?” to which you can choose one of six responses, including “A youth suicide prevention hotline,” and “Medical research for a disease that has touched your life.” At the end of the quiz, you are given some statements about you and your volunteer matches. This quiz is ideal for any student who wants an inventive way of finding opportunities and to learn something about yourself along the way.
By now, you have probably figured out what these three online resources have in common. These websites are ideal for any student who does not know where to start their search. By giving you multiple search categories and lists of options, you not only get a clear idea of what kind of opportunities are available but you can also tailor your search to your specific wants and needs. I think any one is sufficient for your needs, but between the three of them, I am certain you will find the perfect volunteer placement for you!