Sign-up sheets and lollipops lure new volunteers

The Concordia Volunteer Fair brought new energy to the Science Complex at Loyola last Thursday. A variety of volunteer organizations, from the SPCA to Concordia Volunteer Abroad, came out to celebrate the act of giving for the sake of giving.

The fair gave browsers a chance to check out volunteer programs in a no-strings-attached setting. Students, some chewing on the free lollipops, milled around and talked to the program coordinators. They heard snap shot lectures from the agencies’s representatives on what they were looking for and how you could fulfill their easy criteria, with a little bit of enthusiasm and schedule juggling, that is.

The Concordia Multi-faith chaplaincy program presented opportunities ranging from a program that connects volunteers with marginalized people such as prison inmates, the homeless and drug users, to house construction, cutting vegetables in Mother Hubbard’s Kitchen, or simply the chance to participate in a relaxing meditation retreat.

Getting involved with Montreal literacy organization Frontier College can land you a volunteer job teaching children and adults how to read and write, which can be organized around your schedule. The College’s two coordinators were extremely enthusiastic by the turnout of the fair, saying a lot of motivated students were present who seemed really interested in giving their time.

The Canadian Liver Foundation, which hopes to establish a student-run entrepreneurship program, had a sign up sheet for those who wanted to be involved planning and participating in concerts, poster boards and youth rallies. The Montreal-based liver advocacy and awareness program is to be formed by youth, offering great experience in building programs.

Canada World Youth presented students a unique opportunity: a chance to travel and work in Canada for three months followed by another three months in one out of 40 foreign countries. The program covers most expenses except for the $250 registration fee, medical costs and vaccines.

“We give you the chance to explore your field and work in something you are interested in, in a different location,” said Kristy Franks, CWY’s coordinator. Franks said many students are looking to volunteer while they are studying, but that they can also gain experience during a ‘year off’ or after their university program is complete.

If you missed your opportunity, check out volunteer placements on the Volunteer Bureau of Montreal website


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