Volunteering: Show Your Local Love

April 1, 2023 •  By Centraide
Femme qui plie des vêtements

Can you imagine our community without volunteers? Impossible! Volunteers are an integral part of the human resources who, along with qualified salaried employees, make essential contributions to the thousands of programs and projects implemented throughout Greater Montreal. The vitality of the community sector depends on their involvement. 

Volunteers contribute in so many ways 

  • Spending time with seniors
  • Delivering meals to people at home
  • Preparing meals
  • Sorting food donations
  • Sorting thrift store donations
  • Homework assistance
  • And more

A core value

Volunteering is a core value for Centraide that is reflected both within the organization and through its agency investment strategies.

...at Centraide

Every year 200 community volunteers get involved with Centraide’s investment and fundraising committees and on its Board of Directors, in addition to the 22,000 volunteers who support the annual fundraising campaign at their workplaces.

…at Centraide’s agencies

Within our network of agencies, the ratio of employees to volunteers is 1 to 8. Promoting volunteerism, recruiting and retaining volunteers, and managing the whole process requires a lot of work to which Centraide contributes. For example, Centraide financially supports volunteer action centres and programs at agencies that depend greatly on volunteers, such as agencies that help seniors, families, or people with disabilities as well as those that work in food security or mental health. Special attention is paid to programs that nurture new volunteers.

Each year, about $2.7 million is invested
to support volunteering
in Greater Montreal’s neighbourhoods.

Volunteer action centres

These agencies, which are located in many Greater Montreal neighbourhoods or sectors, put volunteering to work in their communities. Their goal is to promote volunteer and community action in their territories, connect volunteers with community agencies, and offer basic training and a referral service to people who are interested in becoming volunteers.

New volunteers: a major part of our support

Many of our agencies have programs to encourage young people to volunteer.

Contrary to popular belief, young people between the ages of 16 and 24 have the highest volunteering rate in Quebec. In fact, 42% of people in this age group volunteered in the past year, compared to 35% of people aged 45 to 65.1

Studies show that young people who are made aware of volunteering at an early age, who get involved in volunteer activities, and who are surrounded by committed people are more likely to volunteer as adults.

For neighbourhoods and communities, volunteering:

  • Trains committed citizens.
  • Promotes social ties and brings people together.
  • Creates a sense of belonging.
  • Engages people around collective projects.
  • Optimizes services.
  • Promotes diversity and includes all community members.

Fostering inclusion 

Marginalized people, such as seniors, immigrants, refugees, people with disabilities or people with mental health issues, can often be included through volunteer experiences at community agencies.

Positive impacts on everyone

From personal satisfaction and well-being to a sense of community belonging, volunteering has many benefits. Read all about them here: https://www.centraide-mtl.org/en/blog/volunteering/

  1. Institut de la statistique du Québec, Portrait des bénévoles de 16 à 65 ans au Québec.