These one-off volunteering gigs mean you don’t have to commit to a routine to give back to your community
By Meaghan Wray
You’re just not into commitment right now. We get it. Vowing to be in the same place, at the same time, every Wednesday is a lot to handle. Sometimes, giving back can fall to the wayside in terms of priorities, despite every effort at finding the time.
But there’s truth behind the life motto that giving back is rewarding and actually helps you out, too. Luckily, the GTA is so full of opportunity that feeling good and giving back has never been so easy.
Here are a few places you can flex your good-deed muscles. We promise you: The endorphins that come from donating your time to a good cause will make the rest of that hectic weekly schedule feel like a breeze.
If you’re going on vacation, why not volunteer to meet up with a pup while you’re there? Save Our Scruff is a local organization that rescues dogs from Mexico, Cuba, India, Egypt and more. For basically zero work—the charity does just about everything for you, from organizing with the airline to arranging to dog’s passage from A to B—you can be a “flight parent,” a.k.a. a doggy escort. We can’t think of a better travel companion than a dog searching for her fur-ever home. (Photograph courtesy of Save Our Scruff)
If improving the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health of your community is your MO, this opportunity to be a Community Wellness Volunteer is right up your alley. You only need a driver’s license and five free hours, during which you can volunteer for events, and assist clients with tasks like shopping or visits. (And no, you don’t need to be Métis to volunteer.) It’s a great way to learn a little about your city and help others learn, too.
If picking up a good boy isn’t your pup of tea (get it?), here’s another way to do good while travelling: tote an extra suitcase packed with much-needed medical supplies to a country in need, like Cuba, Peru, Kenya—or wherever you’re headed. All you need to do is fill out a quick form on the Not Just Tourists website, pick up a suitcase packed with supplies and presto! You’ve turned your next holiday into an act of kindness. (Photograph courtesy of Not Just Tourists)
Love to bike? Sweet. That’s all you need to volunteer with this committee! Throughout the city and the surrounding GTA, groups of cyclists—and you don’t have to be at Lance Armstrong’s level—get together to patrol paths. Even as a solo cyclist, you can be the eyes and ears of the city on your morning commute and report back with any damaged pathways or fixes needed. Easy peasy.
Easily one of the most well-known charitable organizations, Habitat for Humanity works to help lift up low-income families by providing them with a basic necessity: shelter. Volunteers have to commit to only one eight-hour shift, during which they can do anything from stocking shelves to fundraising to swinging a hammer. And just think about how bad-ass you’ll feel with a drill in hand! (Photograph courtesy of Habitat for Humanity)
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