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Introducing your child to volunteering


Volunteering is different from work, since you don't get money to do the task. Volunteers aren't paid to do work and they don't earn a salary. They do work they aren't required to do for free. Here, "work" means any task that needs to be done. Volunteers don't have an employment contract, but they still have some sort of agreement that establishes their hours and how often they volunteer. This makes things easier for the organization.


It's important to ask yourselves plenty of questions before starting volunteering.


  • Who do you want to work with?  
  • Are you comfortable working with people with disabilities, older people, kids?
  • Do you want to work alone or as part of a group?
  • Which organizations are active in your neighbourhood and city?
  • What kind of organization are you most interested in?
  • What skills do you want to develop?
  • Why do you want to volunteer?
  • Why are you interested in this cause?


Next, it's time to choose an organization.


Your local volunteer centre can help guide you and put you in contact with an organization. It's important to learn about the organization and understand their mission. Obviously, volunteering isn't something your child can do by themselves— it's something they can experience with you there to support them. 


Volunteering helps develop attitudes and skills. For example:

  • Attitudes: Openness, respect, dedication, reliability, empathy
  • Skills: Communication, collaboration, teamwork, skills related to specific tasks
  • Exposure to the world: Organizational culture, ways of working, new skills related to the specific environment (a hospital, school, retirement home, etc.)


Why get involved?


A lot of people feel positive effects in their lives from volunteering. Many say it's good for them and helps them forget about their problems. It also makes them realize what they have and gives them opportunities to learn all kinds of things. Some even find their calling. In other words, through volunteering, they've discovered an interest and a kind of job they want to do.


Giving time to people in need can also help build self-esteem and self-confidence. You don't need to travel the world to help others! You can help out in your own community, and even make a family activity out of it.