Getting youth to volunteer

In the spring of 2010 Volunteer & Information Quinte, in partnership with the Ontario Volunteer Centre Network (OVCN) and the Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration, launched a Youth Volunteer Program known as Change the World Youth Challenge.
Student leaders from area high schools volunteered to sit on a committee and assist with organizing, promoting and encouraging youth through Hastings and Prince Edward counties to volunteer three years over a one week span. In 2010, 365 local youth completed 2,567 volunteer hours in the community.
Each year we raised the target and increased the number of volunteer opportunities, developed new events and, most importantly, we showcased the dedication and commitment our local youth display in the community.
Youth organized, planned, promoted and delivered a variety of events and programs. The challenge went from one week to three weeks to now six weeks. In 2016 the challenge ran from April 10 to May 23 and, locally, 1,462 youth volunteered more than 12,000 hours in a variety of agencies, programs and events throughout Hastings and Prince Edward counties.
This challenge is a province-wide event that, through the continuous support of the OVCN and the Ontario government, has changed the lives of our youth. It is an avenue for our youth to make a difference, learn through volunteerism, meet new people and, most of all, build self esteem and pride of who they are and how they can Change the World one step at a time. In the 2016 Change the World Youth Challenge 67,303 Ontario high school students volunteered 376,073 hours over a six week timeframe.
Volunteer centres provided guidance and support to students in organizing awareness events, collecting items for food banks, humane societies and shelters, gardening programs, conservation events and numerous other volunteer activities.
Through the partnership of the Ontario government and the OVCN, volunteer centres across Ontario will organize the 2017 Youth Challenge. Students in our local area interested in joining the student leader group are encouraged to contact the office at 613-969-8862 or e-mail amanda.witty@viq.ca meetings will begin in early October.
Volunteer opportunities to choose from this week include:
• 2016 Quinte Exhibition Committee is seeking volunteers to assist at the annual exhibition from Aug. 31 to Sept. 4, 2016. A complete list of volunteer opportunities will be available.
• Alternatives for Woman in Prince Edward County is seeking board members who are skilled in not-for-profit fund development, proposal writing, and real estate — housing, appraisal and property development.
• Pathways to Independence is seeking volunteers to provide socialization and friendship to group home residents who have acquired brain injuries and some degrees of physical limitations. Friendly visitors who can talk about sports, current events, play a game of cards, read and share a cup of coffee.
• Picton United Church County Food Bank is seeking volunteers on Fridays to assist with packing food hampers, sorting and cleaning.
• VON Meals on Wheels requires volunteer drivers and passengers who will deliver meals to clients. Volunteer a minimum of once a week for an hour on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday or Friday between the hours of 11 and noon.
• VON is seeking office volunteers to assist with the SMILE program in their Trenton office. You can assist with: filing, photocopying, shredding, compiling packages, and making up charts.

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