Guelph is well known for the commitment and energy of its volunteers. In fact, just a few years ago Guelph was named Canada’s Most Caring Community by Maclean’s Magazine, because 70% of our population volunteers on a regular basis.
One of the reasons that Guelph has such a strong volunteer base is the dedicated team at the Volunteer Centre of Guelph Wellington. It’s the Centre’s mandate to connect organizations needing volunteers with Guelph and Wellington residents willing to offer their energy, skills and time to serving their community.
While the 70% volunteer rate is impressive, families represent a potentially untapped source of energetic volunteers and the Volunteer Centre of Guelph Wellington is doing it’s best to get them engaged and involved. There’s an increasing body of evidence that suggests volunteering is an excellent way for families to connect, share their values, create community and engage their kids in healthy passions. Organizations are often interested in having family volunteers help out but need some guidance to make the most of the energy and enthusiasm that comes with young families.
To bridge that gap the Volunteer Centre of Guelph Wellington has launched a pilot project with 10 member agencies and willing families. The goal of the project is to engage families in new and exciting volunteer projects for the whole family,and then share their feedback about their experiences with organizations to encourage more family friendly volunteer roles in Guelph and Wellington County.
Katrina Duiker, the Volunteer Services Coordinator at the Centre, will meet with interested families to go over the program and discuss their interests and needs around volunteering and then match them with an appropriate organization. A participating family’s time commitment would depend on the needs of the family. Organizations have opportunities for one day events, short term (less than 6 months) and long term (more than 6 months) and Katrina will work with both the organization and the volunteers to create a successful match. All families are welcome and the organizations are open to working with volunteers of a variety of ages. Family volunteering opportunities might include event volunteers, scrapbooking, meal packing, landscaping, tree planting or public display speakers.
The initial phase pilot program runs from July through October. If you are interested in helping out your community and want to bring your family along, please contact Katrina, Volunteer Services Coordinator at email@example.com or call 519-822-0912 to learn more or to make an appointment.
For more information on volunteering in Guelph, please visit the Volunteer Centre of Guelph Wellington or see our previous articles.
Nurturing kids in a caring community
Tips for Successful Family Volunteering
The Benefits of Volunteering as a Family