Guest Blog Post – Why I volunteer – By Kim Saikali

Here is a guest blog post by Kim Saikali.  Kim has been a great volunteer and was excited about the opportunity to talk about why she volunteers in this weeks blog post.
Hope you enjoy!


Why I volunteer –

When asked the question “Why don’t you volunteer?”, most people respond by saying that they would love to help out and engage many opportunities, but they think there’s no way they can fit a full-time additional job into their already hectic life schedule. It’s true, some volunteer roles are very consuming and require a great deal of free time but each time another volunteer joins a cause, the workload becomes much more manageable.  Working together, we can achieve some amazing goals.

I just participated in the 2013 Army Run half marathon event, and the number of volunteers that helped out the event was phenomenal! From helping set up the event, to posting mileage markers along the route, to manning road stations to provide help to local residents affected by the route, to handing out Gatorade and water to the runners, each of those people took a small role in making an event spectacular. If one person had to manage each watering station, their involvement would be a full-time commitment, but with the amount of volunteers that made themselves available, each person participated with the time they were able to commit, without having to readjust their busy personal and professional lives.

Volunteering occurs in so many small ways that add up to one big sum. Bringing in donations to aid a charity auction is volunteering. Same as donating a can of spaghetti sauce at the local food bank’s container in each grocery store. For those with available time, approaching a senior’s home to spend time with the elderly is a great way to help out and meet people with wonderful stories and perspectives to share. Are you a part-time handyman at home? The number of ways you can help out your friends and non-profit organizations is staggering. Volunteering is extremely rewarding on so many levels, be it socially, personally or professionally, that you owe it to yourself to try it once.

Looking for ways to spend some family time together? Look for the opportunities that are posted in your local newspaper. Join the volunteer team of an upcoming local open house event, or maybe a tree planting initiative, or help to clean up the local park. All these events are rewarding for families made up of any age groups, and give everyone involved the opportunity to feel more connected with their neighbourhood.

This year I’ve volunteered my time with the RBC Bluesfest event as a stage hand, and also helped out with the 3rd Annual VOscars Fundraising Gala event at the Aviation Museum. Both events have given me a chance to meet many new people, all of whom are social, outgoing and enjoyable in every way. Beyond giving my time, I’ve cleaned out my children’s closets and donated their outgrown clothing to the Diabetes Association. As well, I’ve driven my teenage kids to their various volunteer choices, such as the Lebanese Festival at St. Elias Cathedral or playing piano for seniors at the Carleton Lodge. All of these small efforts have proven profitable to me in all the most important self-fulfilling ways. By connecting with so many great people who share my own similar interests, I’ve expanded friendships and entertained new ways of helping out!

I love meeting people, giving back to the community, and helping make the world a better place by Volunteering!

Kim Saikali


Volunteer Roundup: Ottawa’s latest opportunities

Like what you are reading?  Want to be a part of it?  This column is written by volunteers. Volunteer Ottawa needs someone with a way with words to help write the Round Up.  If you want to see this as well as many other volunteer opportunities, contact Volunteer Ottawa, a United Way agency.  Visit or call 613-736-5270.

Boo!  The Cumberland Heritage Village Museum is gearing up for their 2nd annual Haunted Historic Village. Are you the person to help make this horrific event the best yet? We are gathering daring volunteers to portray ghastly characters to stir up the Village!  This is your opportunity to dress-up and perform in a frighteningly horrid costume and make-up. The living dead will rise on Friday and Saturday evenings, (October – 11-12, 18-19, 25-26). To join the horror and find out how to play in the Haunted Historic Village program you must attend one of the information sessions either on Tuesday, September 17th or Thursday, September 19th at 6 p.m. in the Cumberland Heritage Village Museum Community Hall. Volunteers must be 16+ years old. Please confirm your presence by contacting at or call 613-580-2424 ext. 19042.

Get On Board:  The Canadian Celiac Association’s Board of Directors needs you! The C CA understands the challenges of living gluten-free, and is currently in need of Fundraising Chair. In this role, you will develop and promote fundraising events, seek out community and gluten-free sponsors, and much more, for about 10-15 hours per month total. Please contact June Williams at or 613-692-3308

Contribute to the fight against cancer by helping out at some great events! The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Canada is holding two annual events back-to-back and are in need of many volunteers! The 3rd Annual Light The Night walk on Saturday, October 19th at City Hall and along the route to Pretoria Bridge. Volunteers are needed to work on the route, registration, and food areas. To register as a volunteer please visit and indicate your preferences and comments on the registration page. The second event, theScotiabank Nordik Walk, happens on Sunday, October 20th at the Maplesoft Centre.  Volunteers are needed between 8am-12:30pm (lunch provided!) to help in with the event—volunteers needed the day before for set-up, too.. Both events are great for groups! Please contact Sarah MacLaren at or 613-247-3527 x240.

Helping youth: The Dave Smith Youth Treatment Centre (DSYTC) is a non-profit, residential, and community-based agency dedicated to helping youth (13-21) and families across Ontario overcome substance abuse and related issues and to achieve a healthier lifestyle. While in residential treatment, youth are enrolled in an academic program to achieve Ontario secondary school credits with the guidance of a teacher. As youth are working on individual coursework, many would benefit from additional academic support and encouragement to help achieve academic success. Could you share your talents and/or hobbies with youth in treatment? Could you be an example of healthy ways of spending free time? The Prosocial Activity Leader Volunteers will develop and lead activities designed to help DSYTC clients acquire a new skill or enhance an existing talent such as arts, crafts, music, drama, sports. Interested?  As these positions take place  in Carp and/or Carleton Place, your own transportation is needed  Contact Sue O’Rielly 613-594-8333 ext. 1204

Power Hockey!  The Ottawa Power Wheelchair Hockey League provides a recreational and competitive floor hockey program for people with disabilities. This year the league currently has 30 players, and is expanding to 4 teams. They need coaches, referees and assistants to help facilitate this growth. All league games are held on Sundays 12-3:00PM (however this may vary depending on your schedule). Season begins September 15th. Coaches, referees and assistants will have the unique opportunity to bring their skills and knowledge to coach, ref and assist with this exciting sport. All volunteers will be expected to help facilitate with equipment setup and take down.  Interested?  Contact Roddey Harb 613-793-9011 or

Volunteer Roundup: Ottawa’s latest opportunities

indexThe end of summer is quickly approaching! What better way to finish it off than to volunteer within your community? As always, Volunteer Ottawa features a variety of organizations that are in need or volunteers, some urgent, some on-going, but all for various age groups! Please visit or call 613-736-5270 today to see many more listings in addition to this week’s post.

Become part of a great team! The Well is a spiritual and justice-based gathering place for women and women with children and they are looking for a volunteer computer room assistant. You will help women become familiar with the internet, e-mail, and various software applications for about 2 hours per week. Police check required. Please contact Rosy at or 613-594-8861 x77.

Outgoing Volunteers Needed! The YMCA-YWCA of the National Capital Region is looking for a strong candidate looking to help with a campaign to bring the Y to the Carlingwood Mall. This individual will be helping at the information booth, answering questions and registering memberships. This position also involves working with our computer system to ensure new members’ information has been entered correctly. Do you have a background in sales and looking to build on this experience? Are you an outgoing, positive individual who isn’t afraid to get the attention of mall walkers! Training will be provided. Booth is open during Mall hours (Friday and Saturday 9:30am- 9:00pm and Sunday 10:00am – 6:00pm). Commitment of 25 hours a week needed. Contact Amanda Romozzi 613-237-1320, ext. 2999 or

Strong volunteers needed:  The Ottawa Neighbourhood Services is looking for volunteers for a fundraising auction for Saturday August 24th. We received an important donation of great furniture and are looking to sell it in an auction to raise funds to buy a new truck for the organization. We are looking for 2-3 strong people (to move furniture) to set up and help out during and after the event and load furniture onto a truck.   Please contact us at 613-728-3737 or at

Supporting Our Troops @ The Army Run:  Be at the coolest water station during the Army Run! Bell Media and the Ontario Lung Association invite you to be part of the “ I Love Lungs”  Waterstation Crew on Sunday September 22nd .  Volunteers can enjoy great music while handing  out water and Gatorade, and cheering on thousands of people doing the 5km or 21km distance.  Contact

Urgent Need for a Board Secretary: Helping with Furniture (HWF) Board of Directors seeks an interim Secretary from September 2013 to January 2014. HWF is a non-profit charity serving the Ottawa area whose primary purpose is to furnish the homes of individuals and families in need. Duties include  calling and organizing Board meetings, in collaboration with the HWF President, preparing and distributing agendas for monthly Board meetings, in collaboration with the HWF President, facilitating Board meetings, taking/distributing meeting minutes, creating, updating, and distributing documents as necessary, serving the central point contact for Board business and helping to organize the date, call and help to organize HWF’s Annual General Meeting. This position requires approximately 5-10 hours of work per month.  Are you 18+, available in the evenings, fluent in English, have excellent communication skills, excellent organizational, administrative and multi-tasking skills.  Do you have experience taking, editing and distributing meeting minutes, leading meetings and helping to plan events?  To apply, please send a concise cover letter and resume to by Friday August 23rd or call 613-612-6228.

Voscar Time Again:  Volunteer Ottawa will be hosting its 3rd Annual VOscar fund raising gala on Thursday, September 26, 2013 at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum.  A strong team of ‘supporting cast’ (volunteers) is needed to make this event a success.  Videographer,paparazzi, entertainers, event helpers, people to help manage the talent, Social Media Promoter during the event, VOscar Helper, movie star look-alikes, someone to hand out parking vouchers, door greeters, registrars, ushers, set-up and take-down crews.  Interested in joining the star-studded cast?  Contact Vasilinka Tsar 613-736-5266 ext 114 or

Volunteer Roundup: Ottawa’s latest opportunities

There’s still lots of Summer left and still lots of volunteer work to be done. Find the volunteer job that fits your time, skills and interests at Volunteer Ottawa, a member of the United Way.  We are at 613-736-5270 or

Urgent!  The Canada Science and Technology Museum is hosting The Maker Market.  This celebration of innovation brings together families and individuals who celebrate Arts, Crafts, Engineering, Food, Music, Sustainability, and Science and those who embrace the Maker spirit. Part science fair, part county fair, and part something entirely new, this is an opportunity to meet a sampling of the local hackers, tinkerers, engineers, crafters and artisans! The fair takes place on Saturday, August 31 and Sunday, September 1 at the museum. Hours are flexible! (morning, afternoon or all day). Volunteers will play a big role in visitor interaction and helping  the  makers. You must be at least 14 years of age, and must meet the museum’s security requirements.  Interested?  Call Cedric St. Amour 613-991-6091 or

Ghoulish Creations:  The Cumberland Heritage Village Museum is gearing up for their 2nd annual Haunted Historic Village at Halloween!  Do you have the experience and/or ability to build and fashion theatre props?  Join our team of volunteers to help us construct scary Halloween props such as wraiths, ghosts, gargoyles, corpses and scarecrows. You’ll be working with wood, chicken wire, glue, paint, skulls and fabric to assemble these monsters. All the tools and materials are provided. Assembly will take place on (dates) at the museum, therefore you will need your own transportation. Please contact or call her at 613-580-2424 ext. 19042 for more information.

Help raise funds for families living with Parkinsons. The 19th annual Parkinson SuperWalk is holding its first ever event in Embrun on Saturday September 8th and they are in dire need of fourteen event volunteers. Positions include registration, route director, day organizer, route marshals, musical entertainment, face painters, and more. Please contact Ginette Trottier at 613-722-9238 or for more information and to sign up today!

Join in the Fight: The Relay For Life is the Canadian Cancer Society’s signature fundraising event, celebrating cancer survivors, remembering loved ones lost to cancer, and is a commitment to fighting all cancers. It is a 12 hour overnight event that involves teams of 10-12 competitors who take turns walking, running or strolling around a track.We are looking for key leadership volunteers to help make our Ottawa planning committee as we prepare for the next Relay for Life taking place on June 6, 2014. By joining the 2014 Relay For Life leadership committee your leadership skills will help raise funds for cancer research and community support services for people living with cancer. We invite you to visit, or to contact Kate Agyemang at 613-723-1744 ext. 3623, or at

Going once, twice, sold! The Ottawa Neighbourhood Services is looking for volunteers for a fundraising auction for Saturday August 24th. We received an important donation of great furniture and are looking to sell it in an auction to raise funds to buy a new truck for the organization. We are looking for 2-3 strong people (to move furniture) to set up for the auction and help out during and after the event. We are also in need of one or two persons to catalog and write up a description of the items prior to the auction, and work on advertising/flyers for the event. Please contact us at 613-728-3737 or at

Calling all lovers of books: The Friends of the Ottawa Public Library are looking for bookstore volunteers to join our team. Our non-profit organization manages 17 bookstores in library branches across the city and donates over $250,000 to the Ottawa Public Library each year! We are looking to fill the following positions: Running our BookBar in the foyer of the Main Library: on Saturdays from 10:45 a.m. to 2 p.m., filling in for our regular bookstore volunteers at the Main Library as needed: 2 1/2 – 4 hour shifts between 11 a.m. and 4:30 p.m, Monday through Saturday, volunteering at an upcoming FOPLA bookstore at the newly renovated West District Library (previously Beaverbrook branch), stocking shelves and sorting book donations at our new self-serve book sale shelf at Emerald Plaza branch, and serving as bookstore manager/volunteer coordinator at Emerald Plaza branch or the new West District Library.  Applicants must be responsible and enjoy working with people and books. New volunteers will receive training and support in their positions. Contact Marie Petersen at 613-580-2424 Ext.14383, or

Volunteer Roundup: Ottawa’s latest opportunities

The end of summer will be here before you know it! If you have not yet contributed to your community this year, why not make best of this beautiful weather and get involved? As always, Volunteer Ottawa features a variety of organizations that are always in need of volunteers, some urgent and some on-going. Please visit today or call 613-736-5270.

Innovative Ways to Help Others:  Share your love of couponing with members of your own community. The Rideau Rockcliffe Emergency food Program serves over 10,000 people every year.  They are in search of coupons for food and personal hygiene items.  Clip and share your coupons—they’ll be used to help our clients to purchase much needed items for their families—mail them in or drop them off.  Green thumb?  Why not share some of your extra fruits and veggies you’ve grown with those in need. Volunteers are always needed to help staff the Food Bank program.  Contact Tracy Moore 613-745-0073 ext 126.or

Get On Board:  Gloucester Housing Corporation (GHC) is looking for board members who are willing to make a commitment to the organization and who have a range of skills, expertise and knowledge that includes leadership, governance, strategic thinking, and team work.  We would also be interested to hear from people with a legal background, property development, property management, communications and marketing know-how. GHC is a well-established not for profit organization in east Ottawa, whose business is the management of affordable and market rental housing. The Board governs the organization and is responsible for directing and monitoring the business of GHC. The Board carries out its governance role by monitoring performance and developing and monitoring policy through a number of committees. Time commitment is between 5-15 hours per month and includes a monthly meeting from 6-8pm. All elected positions are for a minimum term of one year and may be re-elected after that time. All new positions will be ratified at the October 2013 AGM. Interested?  Submit your resume to or contact Ann Smith 613-613-748-6606 x304

Take your mentoring skills to the professional level. The Ottawa Chinese Community Centre (OCCC) is in urgent need of career mentors at this time. In this position, you will help Internationally-educated professionals pursue their career advancement in Canada. You will learn job search and career coaching skills, while building a group of professional networks. Police Check required. For more information, please contact Doreen Ju at 613-235-4875 x114 or

Help entertain and care for seniors. The Extendicare Laurier Manor has an enormous amount of openings at the moment as volunteers do much to improve the quality of life for those who live there. These include, but are not limited to, BBQ assistant, feeding assistant, pet therapy assistant, guest speakers, visitors (English, French, and other languages), musicians, bingo assistants, and more. Police Check required for most positions. Please contact Lucie Erskine at 613-741-5122 x123 or to get involved.

Good with your hands? Hospice Care Ottawa has purchased a new building in Kanata and they are looking for volunteers to help maintain its premises, including lawn maintenance and odd jobs. As a volunteer, you will be a part of providing end of life care to those who have been diagnosed with a life threatening illness. Police Check required. Please contact Jennifer Lockyer at or 613-591-6002 x25 for more information.

Before and During:  Canadian Hard of Hearing Association is having its annual 5km/8km Walk2Hear event Saturday, September 21, 2013 at the Ottawa City Hall, 110 Laurier Avenue West. We require a Volunteer Team Leader to act as the main point of contact for all volunteers, help with the recruiting and allocation of volunteers, maintain regular contact with Walk volunteers via email or phone calls, liaise with Walk Coordinator and other staff/partners, assign roles to volunteers according to skills and preferences, engage and motivate volunteers, seek out new and creative ways to recruit volunteers, create and maintain a volunteer contact list. On event day itself, (with guidance from the Team Leader) volunteers of all ages will act as Greeters, Checkpoint volunteers, Registration Desk volunteers and other general volunteer duties throughout the day.  Contact Karla Wilson (613) 526-1584 or




Volunteer Roundup: Ottawa’s latest opportunities

1297310134817_ORIGINALBored yet? Find something new and different in a volunteer opportunity – indoors, outdoors, alone or in a group. Call Volunteer Ottawa, an agency supported by the United Way. We’re at 613-736-5270 and

Make connections: Volunteer Ottawa, an organization that links volunteers with community organizations, is in need of a bilingual Volunteer Receptionist (Tuesday AM; Wednesday AM; and Thursday PM), who can commit for a minimum of 6 months. As a Receptionist you will greet visitors, answer the telephone, offer guidance in finding suitable volunteer opportunities, track calls and messages, and assist staff with photocopies/filing and other administrative tasks. Training will be provided. Contact Vasilinka Tsar at (613) 736-5266 Ext 114, or at

Friendly volunteers needed: Extendicare-Medex, a long term care, 193 bed facility, located in the west end of Ottawa has an immediate need for volunteers to come and visit with our residents who speak Greek, Armenian, and German, and to come and play Euchre. We are also looking for friendly and personable volunteers to fill a number of other roles. Contact Mary-Ellen Dore at: 613 225 5650 ext 401 or at for more information.

VOSCAR Time!  Volunteer Ottawa celebrates its 3rd  annual VOSCARS, a fundraiser and opportunity to honour some dedicated volunteers.  The event takes place in a new location, the Canadian Aviation and Space Museum on Thursday, September 26th from 5:00pm to 10:00pm. Volunteer positions include: Technology manager: Manage all technical requirements of the event. Movie Actor look-a-likes: Walk the red carpet. Silent Auction: Manage silent auction tables and take payments.  Also needed are parking attendants, registration volunteers, greeters, ushers, and help with set-up/take-down. Contact Vasilinka Tsar 613-736-5266 ext 114 or

All Around the House:  Abbeyfield House is a non-profit organization that provides accommodation for 10 independent older adults. Are you retired and living in the Parkdale area? Needed is an experienced volunteer to head its House Committee. Responsibilities are primarily for the hiring and performance of a small staff, together with meal planning. Also required is a Volunteer Coordinator who can assist us with the following: updating volunteer opportunities on specific websites; recruiting/interviewing/training possible volunteers and creating a strategy for volunteer recognition. Green Thumb?  A gardener is also needed once a week to maintain the flower beds (including pruning, weeding and replanting), help keep the grounds tidy and maintain the indoor plants.  Police check required and training/orientation provided. Contact Jo Ashford (613) 729-4817 (leave message) or

SuperWalk time:  Parkinson Society Eastern Ontario will be hosting its 18th Annual SuperWalk fundraising event on Saturday September 7 at Britannia Beach.  A variety of volunteers are needed before and during the event.  Volunteers are needed to distribute posters and pledge forms to promote the walk now.  Are you creative? Do you enjoy face-painting? Can you tie balloons into cool animals/shapes? Do you love to entertain children and families? Are you in a family-friendly band? Do you love performing in front of people? Would you like to put your musical talents towards a great cause? Entertainers are also needed to help create a fun, family-friendly atmosphere on event-day.  For these and other great volunteer opportunities, contact Alan Muir 613-722-9238 or

Help organize an event: The Canadian Hearing Society is seeking a volunteer coordinator(s) to organize a one day event to recycle used electronics in October 2013. Much of the preliminary work has been done. The volunteer would be expected to advertise the event, coordinate two teams of volunteers to helps that day and to follow all procedures in our event guide. The event is only 1 day in October and we expect that the volunteer will be committing 1-3 hours per week for 6 weeks leading up the event day. The organization will maintain full responsibility for this event and provide insurance coverage for its volunteers. As a charitable non-profit organization, the volunteer will help us raise funds to continue our non-profit services to the hearing loss community. A great way to build skills for your resume and contribute to an environmentally friendly event.  Contact Michel David 613-521-0509 (Voix/Voice)1-888-697-3650 (ATS/TTY) or