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Volunteer Opportunities

New Canadians are often encouraged to volunteer in their new community. Volunteering is an excellent way to meet people, practise your language skills and become involved in the community. Many employers regard volunteering as valid Canadian work experience, which can be important when looking for employment.

Volunteers perform a wide range of tasks and projects. Much of the work of non-profit organizations, including raising money and public awareness, is accomplished by unpaid volunteers. High school students in Ontario are also required to do a minimum 40 hours of volunteer work in the community before they can graduate. Every year, the mayor of Kingston honours exceptional volunteers who have devoted hundreds of hours of service to volunteer causes.

It is also worthwhile to check directly with organizations that use volunteers to find out about available openings and opportunities. Call 211 for help finding organizations that use volunteers or visit the United Way’s online searchable database (see For More Information links below). Some of these organizations are also listed in the Community Directory links provided on the right-hand side of this page.

For newcomers who are unsure of what volunteering in Canada entails, or who may need more help getting started in their community, the local GIVE (Gain Important Volunteer Experience) program may be a good place to start. This program teams volunteer mentors with newcomer volunteers for a short-term placement. In addition to valuable experience, including language and cultural skills in an English-speaking environment, volunteers also create a volunteer profile that highlights their skills and interests. See the For More Information links below.

For More Information

Partners in Mission Foodbank
The food bank provides emergency food assistance to local Kingston individuals and families. Hampers filled with non-perishable food and some fresh products are made available depending on level of need. Also available on Facebook and Twitter.

Limestone Advisory for Child Care Programs
This organization provides information on various childcare programs, resources for staff and parents, and helps to link families with community resources and services. An online newsletter contains information about upcoming events, creative play activities and tips about quality child care. Volunteer opportunities are available and the organization can be followed on Facebook and Twitter.

Active Citizenship - Volunteering
Information about volunteerism in Ontario, how to get involved, facts about volunteering. Includes a list of honours and awards given annually to exceptional volunteers.

Volunteer Canada
Information about the history of volunteering in Canada with links to volunteer centres across the country.

govolunteer
An online tool to search volunteer opportunities in some regions of Canada.

Can I volunteer to get Canadian experience?
Many newcomers volunteer in their new communities to get Canadian work experience and references, improve their English- and French-speaking skills and learn about the Canadian workplace. Available in Arabic, Chinese (Simplified), French, Gujarati, Pilipino (Tagalog), Punjabi, Russian, Spanish, Tamil, and Urdu.

The Job Board — Work in Culture
Cultural Careers Council Ontario (CCCO) job board listing full- and part-time positions, internships and volunteer opportunities in the arts and cultural community. Also available on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Youthconnect.ca
Information about opportunities to volunteer, jobs and community programs for youth.

Community Living Kingston and District
A community employment resource center for people with disabilities. Also provides volunteer opportunities and student placement for those wishing to work with people with disabilities. Also available on Facebook.

Kingston Frontenac Public Library — Volunteering
Information on volunteering information at the library, with links to other volunteering opportunities in Kingston. KFPL can also be found on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Pinterest.

Kingston Multicultural Arts Festival
A yearly event hosted every fall by the Kingston Immigration Partnership’s (KIP’s) Multicultural Roundtable. The event features live music, dance groups, vendors, food, workshops, and demonstrations from around the world. Entertainment and fun activities for the whole family. There are also opportunities to volunteer.

Islamic Society of Kingston (ISK)
This religious organization provides religious and other social services for Muslims. As part of this it manages the Islamic Centre of Kingston, has a women’s group, youth group, mom’s and tots playgroup, a school, and a library with resources in English, Arabic and Urdu. A list of Muslim businesses and volunteer opportunities is also available on the website.

United Way Volunteer Centre
The United Way matches local charities with interested volunteers. This resource includes an online searchable database of volunteer opportunities organized by areas of interest, organization, special events, and volunteer profile.

Kingston African Caribbean Collective (KACC)
History and general information on KACC, an organization fostering awareness of the history, culture, and daily experiences of people of African descent in the Kingston area. KACC holds annual events and activities for Black History Month (February) and has a community calendar listing other events and activities throughout the year. African and Caribbean cooking demonstrations for events is available upon request.

Afro-Caribe Community Foundation of Kingston
Founded in 1996, this foundation actively promotes African and Caribbean culture and supports and showcases members of Kingston’s Afro-Caribbean community. Though various scholarships, bursaries, and awards it encourages academic and professional excellence in Afro-Caribbean students and recognizes the contributions of deserving individuals to the wider Afro-Caribbean community. Annual fundraising and community events include a November dinner-dance and awards fundraiser, a “Taste of Africa and the Caribbean” event, and a special opening ceremony event for Black History Month (February).

Volunteering for New Canadians Guide
Information about volunteering including examples, how to find opportunities, what’s expected, and reasons to volunteer. This document is available for download in both English and French.

Loving Spoonful
Local community food organization working to combat hunger and ensure local food sustainability and security and promote healthy food. Programs include the volunteer Grow-a-Row, the Community Garden’s Network, a low-income farmer’s market and redistribution of surplus donated food. They can also be found on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.

Not-for-Profit Organizations in Ontario
This new bilingual website outlines everything to do with not-for-profit organizations in Ontario - including how to set one up and run one. Created by the Ontario Ministry of Citizenship, Immigration and International Trade this site offers the first Ontario-wide funding directory that lists Ontario government grant opportunities; research about the sector; and provincial programs that support this sector.

Isabel Bader Centre for the Perfoming Arts - Volunteers
The Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts has volunteer positions for ushers. Check their employment page for active positions, further details and instructions. (They usually seek volunteer ushers for the upcoming season in July.)

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