As a non-profit organization, we can attest to the importance of committed and reliable volunteers. Volunteers are an integral part of many non-profit organizations and many could not operate without them.
In 2018, participants of our five community day programs contributed just shy of 4,000 volunteer hours to over 19 community agencies including Maple Wood Farm Quest food Exchange, Belkin House, seniors’ centres and environmental initiatives.
For agencies like the Salvation Army’s Belkin House, the help of volunteers from our West 8th and Victoria Day programs means that they can successfully serve their residents. Eddie from Belkin House reports: “We wouldn’t be able to feed so many people here if it wasn’t for the clients at DDA helping out.”
Not only do the volunteers contribute labour but many of our volunteer sites report our volunteers help change their workplace dynamics for the better. Nadine from Maple Wood Farms reports that: “DDA clients have excellent teamwork and the volunteers make for such a great workplace.”
Through volunteerism, participants are giving back to the community, developing new skills, and building new contacts and relationships. One volunteer from the Victoria Day program hopes that through their volunteer work at Belkin House, they will learn the skills they need to get a paid job. Volunteering is good citizenship and gives many a sense of purpose and social contribution. It can also be a lot of fun! Emma from West 8th Day program has been volunteering at Maple Wood Farm for several years and reports: “I enjoy Maple Wood Farms because all day I get to see all the animals.”
Through volunteering in the community, individuals are demonstrating their abilities, learning new skills and challenging perceptions – and perhaps getting a little cuddle time in with a few bunnies along the way.