3 Rewarding Ways to Celebrate National Volunteer Week

Volunteers even keep animal shelters running, here and abroad at foundations like Soi Dog.

This week is National Volunteer Week, a celebration of volunteers across Canada–and around the world. Volunteers ask nothing in return for their work, except respect and appreciation, and are essential to maintaining resilient communities at home and around the world. Sounds a lot like a mother’s job, right? Here’s how three moms are inspiring us to help others:

1. “Working on issues close to your heart that you’re already involved with, like your daycare or school, is easy and inspires greatness. Right now I’m working with Big Brothers, Big Sisters, but I’ve also been on the boards at my son’s daycare and at the Toronto Botanical Garden.” Jen Reynolds, CF‘s editor in chief, and mom of James, 7

2. “Collecting food for a food drive is very simple—just grab extras from your own your own shelves or ask your neighbours. For more than 20 years, I’ve been volunteering at our local food bank. My daughter loves to drop food off and as soon as she was old enough, we starting working there as a family during the public food drives.” Robin Stevenson, CF‘s senior editor, and mom of Charlotte, 7

3. “When you go on holiday, consider bringing along a donation. On our most recent trip to Thailand, we brought three suitcases of medical supplies to a street dog vet clinic, the Soi Dog Foundation. They’ve spayed/neutered 30,000 dogs and cats since they opened about a decade ago and provided emergency medical care to thousands of homeless dogs and cats. We spent the afternoon at the shelter, and it became apparent volunteering next year with our daughter would be lots of fun!” Yuki Hayashi, mom of Esmé, 9

This list of volunteer centres in communities all across Canada makes it easy to get started. And if you know a charitable kid under the age of 15, someone who is always looking for ways to better their communities, let us know! We’ll be showcasing kids who make a difference in our November issue, in Canadian Family’s Top 15 Under 15! Email us at 15under15@canadianfamily.ca: Make sure to include the child’s name, email address and a short description of what makes him or her stand out.

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