How to start a volunteering initiative in your community

This week is National Volunteer Week in Canada, a perfect opportunity to reflect upon how you can get more involved in volunteering. There are many opportunities to volunteer within your community, not to mention the fact that community associations themselves are run entirely by volunteers. In fact, did you know Calgary has over 150 community associations, being run by over 20,000 volunteers?

There are many benefits to volunteering within your community, here are a few reasons to give it a shot:

  • Meeting new people and being connected to your community
  • Learning new skills, or teaching your skills to others
  • Gaining experience, enhancing your resume
  • Giving back to your community
  • Being part of causes you care about

We are an incredibly giving municipality, and we have some ideas for how you can start a volunteering initiative in your community:

  • Start a bottle drive: this initiative is two-fold in helping because it kick-starts some recycling and raises some easy money for a local non-profit. We have a bottle drive coming up this weekend, so stay tuned!
  • Start a community clean-up: especially this time of year when things melt (eventually) and there is lots of garbage left under the snow, communities could use some extra help in cleaning up. This is a great way to spend time with your neighbours too.
  • Contact your community association: community associations are run entirely by volunteers so there’s always an abundance of opportunities available from sitting on boards or committees to helping run events. To find an opportunity in your community find your association on the Federation of Calgary Communities website.
  • Coach or manage a sports team in your neighbourhood: this is another initiative that’s run completely by volunteers. If you’re not familiar with the contact information for the league in your neighbourhood, start by checking the Federation of Calgary Communities website.
  • Help out non-profits or charities you already support: do you donate annually to a charity or non-profit you’re passionate about? Donating your time is just as important to them, contact a local organization for information on where they need help at this time.
  • Contact your City: there are often many volunteer opportunities available for programs and events run by both the City of Calgary or City of Airdrie, visit their websites for information.
  • Try a volunteer matching service: both Calgary and Airdrie have organizations dedicated to matching volunteers with the organizations that best suit their skills and personalities. Check out Volunteer Airdrie or Volunteer Calgary.

Find more tips on volunteering or recognizing volunteers, by following National Volunteer Week on social media with #NVW2018.