The Giver is written by Ottawa Mag account manager Dee Campbell, who knows that people prefer to volunteer in ways that speak to their interests. Dee has volunteered for the Terry Fox Run since she was a little girl and is a Brownie Leader of 15 years.
I get it. There are only so many hours in a day, so many days in a week. You have kids, a dog, (both?). Weekends can feel over-programmed what with cleaning, exercise, catching up with friends, naps, etc.
So if you’re going to volunteer your precious time, it needs to matter.
In this first installment of The Giver, I offer you a few ways to volunteer that speak to the pet owner, the orange-drink addict, the social media expert, and the fitness- or fundraising-minded. Let me know in the comments what your interests are, and I’ll do my best to find a volunteer opp that’s perfect for you next week!
As a dog or cat lover/owner, you know the therapeutic value of companion animals, so bring your face-licking pup to visit people who reside in hospitals, retirement residences, shelters and long-term care facilities. Times: Mondays to Thursdays. Contact: Ottawa Humane Society.
Blood. You have more of this than you need, so give some to people who are in desperate need. And there are plenty of perks!
Perk #1: Free cookies and an orange drink reminiscent of McDonald’s circa 1980.
Perk #2: You can tell friends and anybody-who-will-listen that you literally save lives.
Perk #3: Your body replenishes its stores, so you get to do this again and again and again!
Contact: Canadian Blood Services.
Want to build your social media experience to eventually score a paying gig? The Tumaini Children’s Project provides hope and opportunity to orphaned Kenyan children affected by HIV/AIDS by caring for them, educating them and implementing sustainable development projects. They need a social media expert (Twitter, Facebook, Indiegogo, Vine, etc) to develop crowd funding campaigns. Commitment: 2-3 hours/week from home. Contact: Christine Pothier, Program Executive
Love to run? Jog? Walk? Maybe you were around when the news showed Terry entering your hometown, or maybe the TFR is just part of your family’s tradition as it is in mine. As a kid, our family organized an annual run in Etobicoke, plus we would walk or run the 10k route. We would also cycle the route, offering support, cheers, and a smile to people doing the run. I saw tears when people registered and remembered Terry, as well as huge grins when other kids my age finished — exhausted. (Ten kilometers is far when you’re 11 years old.) If you’re feeling ambitious, organize a run in your community. If you want to walk/run the 10k, you can either show up on September 14 with a donation in-hand or ask people to sponsor you. Me, I’ll be at the Kanata run pushing a baby jogger.