I took the time to return to The Stop last week, a food facility in Toronto’s west end.
I joined the kitchen staff in preparing a wonderfully tasty and nutritious lunch for 200 or more at the Drop-In centre in their Davenport location. Like my previous experience, this too was wonderful with a great team of volunteers all lead by a gracious chef, Scott MacNeil. For foodies , it’s always interesting to watch the creative process of a professional chef.
Apparently there’s a waiting list to volunteer in the kitchen but still they end up short handed. And as I heard from some of the regulars in this crew, some go south come winter, leaving a gap in the kitchen.
Do your kids no longer need you to shuffle them to hockey or dance lessons? Reallocate that time to volunteerism.
This brings up a point I’ve heard many times. Non profits need volunteers that will commit to a regular schedule. That can be a certain number of days a week, maybe even by the season but even 4 hours a week on a reliable basis beats infrequent or adhoc participation.
Now there are special events that require a burst of activity but many non-profits work throughout the year and so need volunteers consistently.
Want to be useful? Make volunteerism part of your routine. Mark a spot in your schedule, join an organization, learn what needs to be done and show up on a regular basis.