Companionship and integration in community activities are the primary aims of the Volunteer Services Department. Volunteer opportunities include Best Buddies (matching Queen's students with clients), one-to-one befriending, recreational swims, volunteer guide (in which volunteers and clients volunteer together in the community), canteen, adult education, clients and computers, pet therapy, bowling and other recreational events, music and crafts, pastoral care, research, and administration. A waiting list of clients and program areas that have requested volunteers is maintained on a regular basis.
Ongwanada's Volunteer Services Department offers a variety of volunteer positions to those interested in making a difference in the lives of those who have developmental disabilities. Whether volunteering directly with those that we support or in an administrative role, the contributions of our 80-100 volunteers benefit our clients greatly.
The following are some of the volunteer positions available:
One-to-one Befriending Program - a volunteer is matched with one client for leisure opportunities and in the hopes that a meaningful friendship will evolve. Such a match is made based on interests of both the client and volunteer. Volunteers in this program enjoy an array of activities/outings with their Ongwanada friends - visiting at one another's home, going shopping, walking, going out for coffee or a meal and much more.
Group Support - a volunteer is matched with one of Ongwanada's 20+ community residences, where 4-6 adult clients reside. The volunteer then visits the home and concentrates on all clients rather than just one. Volunteers in this program plan and participate in small group activities with the clients, such as crafts, baking, playing cards, etc.. Volunteers in this program also take clients(one to two at a time) out for walks and on community outings on a rotating basis.
Adult Education - a volunteer is placed at one of our two day program sites. Ongwanada's Over 21 day programs are for clients who have a developmental disability and who are aged 21 and over. These programs run from September through June and offer the participants various opportunities. Volunteers in this program assist both participants/clients and staff/teachers/EA's with daily classroom activities. Such activities could include crafts, special outings, reading, doing puzzles and much more.
Recreational/Therapeutic Swim - a volunteer is matched with either one client or a small group in order to accompany that client or group into Ongwanada's hydrotherapy pool. The volunteer then supports and guides the client/s through their pool activities. Such pool activities could include an exercise program designed specifically for one client or simply throwing a ball back and forth.
Administrative/Clerical - volunteers have been placed in various Ongwanada departments, these have included: Clinical Records, Financial Services, Volunteer Services, Client Behavioural Services, Executive Director's Area and Maintenance. Volunteers take on a variety of duties in these areas - filing, photocopying, computer input, organizing, etc. Volunteers have also been involved in preparing/designing layouts for special monthly internal publications. This is a position that can be done partially from the volunteer's home computer.
Cafeteria & Gift Shop - volunteers placed in our Cafeteria & Gift Shop are able to enjoy a pleasant and friendly atmosphere. You can choose a shift that best suits your lifestyle. If you prefer a quiet shift with fewer customers but with duties such as general tidying and restocking, then a morning or afternoon shift may be for you. If you prefer to be moderately busy, a lunch hour shift may be your choice. Volunteers in this area are required to work on a straight forward cash register, as well as to provide customer service to customers in both the cafeteria and gift shop.
Musical Volunteers - We are always looking for volunteers who are musically inclined, who play the piano, guitar and other instruments. Volunteers have played for small Ongwanada church/spiritual services, as well as for our clients in our client day programs.
We accept family volunteers, so you can volunteer while spending time with those important to you, your family.
Our minimum age requirement for volunteers is sixteen years of age, with the following exceptions:
Those under the age of sixteen can volunteer within a family unit as long as accompanied/supervised by an adult family member. High school students aged 14 and 15 can volunteer in order to complete the mandatory forty hour volunteer requirement.
To explore the above and other volunteer opportunities at Ongwanada, please call Ongwanada's Volunteer Services Co-ordinator at 548-4417, Ext. 1163, or by email at email@example.com.
To view a You Tube video about the impact that volunteering has on Canada please click here.