By Juliette Levy-Gay
With the insanity of this past year—all the lockdowns, quarantines, and general craziness—I think it’s safe to say that service hours weren’t the first thing on people’s minds. That said, now that we’re well into the school year and things have settled down slightly, I know that the empty OnVolunteers page is beginning to become an ominous creature, looming over heads and creeping into nightmares for many of us. Whether it’s the lack of motivation to seek volunteering opportunities, lack of knowledge as to where or how to acquire service hours, or simply a busy schedule that can’t accommodate an extra activity, a schoolwide shortage of service hours is definitely underway. Luckily, this article will solve all of these problems. Below are five organizations, each with many volunteering opportunities, some of which aren’t even listed here.
Vancouver Public Library
For this job, kids in grades 2-4 are paired with kids ages 13-18 to work on their reading. They meet every Wednesday from 4pm-5pm (currently on Zoom). Additionally, this volunteer position could lead to a more significant job with VPL in the future.
A teen advisor at VPL means you work with librarians on programs and services, advance and direct teen programs, and promote the VPL. There are 4 different groups of teen advisors (two groups meet every other Tuesday from 4pm-5pm and two groups every other Thursday from 4pm-5pm). Teens are ages 13-18.
Teens Read it First
This program allows for teens to read and review books that haven’t yet been released to the public. If you love reading, this is the perfect job for you. Your only responsibility is to read the book, and then write a short review (less than 250 words) to be posted on the @teensatvpl Instagram page and the library catalogue. Direct message @teensatvpl on Instagram or email email@example.com to get in contact with the right person, then a book of your choice will be sent to the branch closest to you.
City of Vancouver
Get together a group of friends or family to participate in a socially distanced neighbourhood cleanup. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested, and the City of Vancouver will supply all garbage bags, gloves, and other necessary tools.
Green Streets Program
Volunteer by caring for a green street garden in your neighbourhood. Care includes weeding, pruning, planting, and other general garden maintenance. If you see a garden you want to care for, you can check to see if it is already being cared for by these signs, one of which will be next to the garden.
Apply to the Green Streets Program using this link: https://vancouver.ca/home-property-development/green-streets-volunteer-application-form.aspx
More volunteering opportunities with the City of Vancouver can be found here
Help the Vancouver Orphan Kitten Rescue Association (VOKRA) end cat overpopulation and homelessness. Volunteer with a sibling or parent at VOKRA, assuming a position suitable for you. Whether it’s Cat Care, Reception, or Photography, you’re helping those kittens. Click this link for the volunteer application.
Christianne’s Lyceum of Literature and Art
Any teen can volunteer at Christianne’s Lyceum. If you love kids and are interested in creative writing, reading, or art, this is the volunteer job for you. Christianne’s Lyceum runs classes every day of the week, so it is perfect for high school students with strict schedules. Some of their classes include: writers’ workshops, art classes, and book clubs. Apply to be a volunteer here: https://7be54786-7235-48c8-8707-c66d06472cdf.filesusr.com/ugd/e89ad6_e77d59f223ba4ef093719a6c4b660be2.pdf
Email them at: email@example.com.
Thunderbirds Community Center Opportunities
Alongside the volunteer opportunities provided by Thunderbirds and their annual summer camps, you can also volunteer with specific programs year round. These programs and their contacts are listed below.
- Children, Adult, Seniors and Fitness Centre
Alysha Manhas – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Youth Services/Special Events Youth
Priya Brar – email@example.com
- Seniors, Social Programs
Lorraine Chow – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Special Events – Children
Lorraine Chow – email@example.com
I hope there was something in this list for everyone, providing opportunities for every interest. If you’re reading this, please pass on these opportunities to your friends as well, so we can get out there and make Ms. Poole proud!