April 24th – 30th 2022 is National Volunteer Week! Volunteers are such an integral part of YSM’s community – the impact of their commitment and contributions can be seen and felt across the organization.
During our last fiscal year, 929 volunteers provided over 32,000 hours of their time to YSM! Whether in packaging food hampers, acting as mentors, helping process donations, teaching computer courses, or sorting donated clothing, volunteers support YSM in countless ways.
Staff Messages of Appreciation
In celebration and recognition of our amazing volunteers, we asked a few of our staff to share how volunteers have made a difference for their team and department:
“A huge shout out of thanks to the Evergreen Health and Dental Centre volunteers – the medical and dental professions who donate their time to provide vital health care to our Evergreen Youth!”
“Our volunteers support seniors in Genesis Place through building rapport, meeting for coffee, helping out at resident events, and building relationships. This personal connection during a pandemic is so valued. Thank you to our Senior Companions!”
“We have a team of approximately 25-30 volunteers who come in diligently every week to help process our donations, entering gifts into our database, sending out tax receipts to donors, and answering donor phone calls. Because of their dedication, we have been able to communicate with and steward our donors more effectively and efficiently. We love our volunteers and all they do for our YSM community. Thank you!”
“Shout out to our volunteer team at the Computer Centre. With a combination of both high school and adult volunteers, our team has grown vastly. Each brings their own unique experiences and loves to share their passions.”
“Our student placement has contributed to our Community Development’s team work through building relationships with community members, contributing to the work of our groups, and developing spaces for team reflection on community development principles.”
“Our Board of Directors are volunteers and not only do they help govern YSM, they give of their expertise on an ongoing basis. We are so grateful for their partnership in this work.”
“Volunteers serve participants across all ages, bringing dignity and hope – joyful music therapy to our smallest daycare children and distribution of food to elders at our Food Bank.”
Finding Meaningful Experiences
Along with creating lasting impact in the community, we are grateful many of our volunteers have found opportunities to build new skills, gain meaningful work experience and create connections while giving their time to YSM.
For some, participation has also lead to job opportunities, like Lydia who volunteered with YSM’s People and Culture department and who is now a staff member.
“My time as a volunteer was really great. I enjoyed working with everyone, and it was a very encouraging and supportive environment.”
“My experience gave me real-life insights into the Canadian environment and work culture, as well as better insights into YSM generally. I also had the opportunity to connect with people across the organization and it’s special to be part a community where everyone just has a genuine heart to serve.”
Now as a member of our staff, Lydia says it feels like a continuation of her volunteering experience, “I’m grateful to come full circle. As a volunteer, I felt like I was already part of the community. Now as staff, it just feels like an extension of what I was doing before.”
We are grateful to all our volunteers, past and present, who continue to contribute their time, skills and talents to YSM. Volunteers help our operations run smoothly and ensure community members have ongoing access to over a 100 low-barrier programs and services.
Each and every one plays a critical role in strengthening our community and in our collective work to end poverty in our city. Thank you so much, to all of YSM’s volunteers!
Interested in volunteering with YSM? Check out our current volunteer opportunities.
Feeling inspired? We’re inviting the city of Toronto to GIVE 6IX to “the Six” in any way, from anywhere, to help change the lives of neighbours struggling with poverty . . .
What’s your 6IX? Learn more and get inspired at ysm.ca/GIVE6IX.