Category: volunteer

habitat for humanity – women build toronto

Yesterday I had the privilege of participating in the Women Build Toronto with Habitat for Humanity. Unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures because I didn’t feel comfortable bringing my phone on the construction site but I still want to share my experience. 

Very briefly, Habitat for Humanity gives family living in poverty a hand up by allowing them to buy homes at low-interest and no money-down. The partner families commit a minimum five-hundred volunteer hours and all the proceeds from the mortgage gets put back into building homes for other families. This allows these families to have a quality, safe home that allows them to break the cycle of poverty for their families. It was noted at the groundbreaking ceremony yesterday that all children of the Toronto chapter have gone on to post-secondary education. This allows them to become productive members of society. The Women Build is an annual event held by the organization. It goes for ten days, and this year their goal was one million dollars raised for the organization. This event allows women to come together and build homes, from the ground-up. It provides a great service to the community while giving the women participating a rewarding and unique experience. I joined Team CAWIC, which is a non-profit organization enhancing the experience of women in construction, I do not work in construction but know someone on the board and thought this would be a great experience.

The day began bright and early with a groundbreaking ceremony. Over 80 women watched as the CEO of Habitat, title sponsors of the homes, local politicians and the partner families “broke ground” on these homes. Then we got to work. I’ve never worn a hard hat or steel toe boots, I have extremely limited homebuilding/renovation experience. I can hang a mean picture, and I can hang wallpaper but I was not prepared for what we were getting in to (in a good way). The home I was assigned to was just foundation. I was not expecting to be building a home, I thought there was no way I could do that. I expected that we would be painting, maybe if we got crazy, we’d hang some drywall. Instead, I climbed down a ladder in to what will one day be a family’s basement. At this point it was just gravel. We spent the day doing various tasks, we built stairs to get in and out of the site, we laid sills and shoveled gravel. We worked hard but it was rewarding. Some of the other groups had homes that were further along and they were able to put in floor joists and walls. Most of the women working with us didn’t have a ton of experience in construction but we were able to come together to accomplish an incredible task. Not only were we helping these families change their lives but we were able to prove to ourselves that we were capable of more than we thought possible. By the end of the day, we were aching but had smiles on our faces. We were proud of the work we had accomplished, even though we didn’t make a huge dent in the home, we still played our important role. 

The end of the day had us going back to ‘base camp’, taking off our heavy boots and receiving a great goody bag from some wonder sponsors. I was really impressed with our loot, which included some great coupons and a ticket for the home show coming in October. It was really nice that they were able to give us a token of appreciation, even though a thank you would have been plenty. 

Awesome goody bag from some awesome sponsors. Not pictured, the delicious chocolates I ate in the car on the way home (thanks Purdys!).

I would highly recommend looking into this organization, they always have events and builds going on and could use anybody’s help, even if they use the ladder upside down at first (don’t worry, we fixed it…) and if you’re a woman, definitely look into joining a team next year for the build. You can also still sponsor me for this worthy cause until the end of September, every dollar counts! I’d love to hear where other people volunteer in the community? I’m always looking for new experiences! 

Happy volunteering!

microvolunteering

We are definitely a culture of never having enough time. 


VolunteerTO recently posted a TEDx Talk from Ben Rigby about microvolunteering. He talks about the fact that over 70% of Americans say they do not have time to volunteer, likely it is similar in Canada. Many non-profits have processes to volunteer with them and many of them have resources stretched thin, so in my experience sometimes it takes a while to get started. Ben Rigby discusses how much time we spend every on games like solitare or farmville (or more recently, candy crush) and he wanted to find a way that people could help from their phones and on their own time. This would give non-profit the resources they need for smaller tasks and also allows the average person to give back and also give the public an easier way to donate their time to causes that are important to them. This talk really articulated how we can all make a difference, without a huge time commitment. 

KoodoNation is a Canadian microvolunteering site. You simply create a profile about what your skills are and the types of causes that are important to you. It can include your bio, links to your site and your social media. You can then search by challenges, causes and skills. Some of the challenges or tasks can take a few minutes; the first one I did was helping a non-profit develop hashtags they could use to promote their organization. All of the information for challenges I could see were targeted to me based on my profile, changes to your profile will give you different results. KoodoNation also makes an effort to make you feel as if you’re part of a community, people and nonprofits can like your suggestions. The site is definitely worth looking around and playing around with; particularly if you want to make a difference but feel overwhelmed by how much time you think you need to make a difference. They say in fundraising “every penny counts”, I think the same could be said for microvolunteering “every second counts”. 

habitat for humanity – women’s build

Ready to unleash your inner superhero?

I’m doing something I’ve never done before. On September 18th, I’ll be joining a group of women in building a home for someone in our community. Habitat for Humanity helps low income families build and buy their own home. The idea is that these families will then require less social assistance and break the cycle of poverty. You can help this great cause by clicking on the link and donating any amount to Habitat for Humanity. You’ll be helping make a difference to families in need in our own community. 

You can help by sponsoring me in the build, my page is here: My Personal Page
Any amount will help make a difference!

To find out more: Habitat for Humanity Toronto 

volunteer opportunity – canadian cancer society

Are you looking for a fun evening of helping a great cause?

The Canadian Cancer Society is looking for volunteers for the ElectroDash run at Canada’s Wonderland on September 6th. The Canadian Cancer Society is looking for volunteers from 6pm-11:30pm. This 5k run is actually more of a 5k dance party, with neon lights and a DJ. They need volunteers to sell merchandise, man the water stations and maintain course safety. The only requirement is you must be over 16 years old. Use the link below to sign up, should be a fun night!

Registration
About Electro Dash

volunteering in toronto

I’m a huge fan of volunteering. I love planning, executing and being apart of events, that’s how I choose to volunteer my time. I’d call it my expertise. I do however sometimes find it hard to find volunteer opportunities. I think when I first started volunteering, I expected that non-profits would be so excited for volunteers that there would be tons of opportunities. The reality is, coordinators working at non-profits are extremely busy and don’t always have the time to find the perfect fit. I’ll start to feature opportunities I hear of, or may be participating in. Hopefully this will encourage others to help make a difference and make Toronto the best city it can be.