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Volunteering in Canada

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“It is not customary that an intelligent person clothes and cares for one part of his body and leaves the rest naked…. Thus it should be with those who are the Lord’s church and body. All those born of God are called into one body and are prepared by love to serve their neighbours.”

—Menno Simons

Every year, 12.5 million volunteers give their time, energy, and skills to make our communities better, but a small percentage of Canadians are carrying most of the load, and most of them are already in their 70s.

—Volunteer Canada

Close to two-thirds of those who felt a very strong or somewhat strong sense of community belonging reported excellent or very good general health.

—Statistics Canada, Health Reports, June 2008

Too busy to volunteer? Not anymore. Microvolunteering is a new way to give your expertise to worthy organizations in less time than a commercial break. Websites like Urbantastic, the Extraordinaries, IfWeRanTheWorld.com, and AllforGood.org suggest tasks which can often
be done in minutes by a few click of a mouse, or the keypad of a cellphone. It represents a new paradigm of volunteering which is more likely to appeal to the highly mobile and technology savvy younger generation.

—Globe and Mail, Time

According to Caring Canadians, Involved Canadians, a Statistics Canada report from 2007:

  • 12.5 million Canadians contributed 2.1 billion volunteer hours, equivalent to 1.1 million full-time jobs.
  • Those who attended religious services on a weekly basis were much more likely to volunteer, and tended to volunteer more time. Weekly attendees accounted for 17 percent of Canadians but contributed 35 percent of total volunteer hours in 2007.
  • Religious organizations receive the largest percentage of volunteer hours (18 percent), though their volunteers represent only 10 percent of Canadian volunteers.
  • The likelihood of volunteering later in life is linked to experience during one’s primary and secondary schooling. Having parents who volunteer and being involved in a religious organization were two predictors of adult volunteerism.

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