Why Should I Volunteer?

People say volunteers make the world go around. And they are not wrong. Nearly half of all Canadians volunteer either on occasion or on a regular basis. Volunteers are often the go-betweens for not-for-profits and the communities they serve. Many services like mental health phonelines or food banks would not be able to function without them!

Why volunteer?

IMPACT – What do we do when we face a huge problem? We do it together. In our own way.

Tackling large issues like climate change or racial injustice are overwhelming for one person to think about, let alone do anything about. Volunteering shows us that even small actions have an enormous impact.

CONNECT – What is happening in a city of over a million people? A lot of things we do not know about!

Volunteering connects us with all kinds of people and communities and challenges us to show up for others outside of our immediate circles.

GROW – How do we grow as people? We do things that are scary or challenging.

Volunteering helps each of us grow. When we build up our self-confidence, learn to solve tough problems, take the lead and communicate well with others, we all win.

GIVE – How do we lift each other up? We pass it forward. We lend a helping hand.

We live in a world where it can be hard to just exist as you. Learning a new language, dealing with discrimination, as well as mental health issues and the everyday grind of school, work, and family is exhausting.

But when you have individuals who are there and ready to help, life gets easier. Giving back through volunteering is one way we can show up and care for each other and our communities.

To read further on the benefits of volunteering, click here.

Youth Volunteer Profiles

Shahd Elsaman

Shahd Elsaman is a high school student and the Ottawa liaison for One Better World Collective. Shahd is passionate about helping other youth who have experienced bullying and racism through her volunteer work. At One Better World Collective, she helps with website maintenance, events planning and connecting with youth around the world who are working to improve the lives of people in their communities.


“Volunteering is always a good opportunity to learn new skills and meet new people. I am trying to teach people that volunteering is about learning skills not getting the hours they need.”


Felicia Persaud

Felicia Persaud (B. Mus., M.A., B. Ed., OCT) received her Bachelor’s in Music, with a profile in Music Education, from the University of Ottawa in 2016, her Master of Arts in Music Theory in 2018, and her Bachelor of Education in 2020. She is currently working in the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board as a classroom teacher while continuing to volunteer in various positions, including as a board member for the Ottawa Pops Orchestra.

Felicia has been volunteering since high school in fields related to education and music. She has volunteered with OrKidstra and worked with students of all ages and at Ottawa New Horizons Band teaching adults in both large and small group lessons. She also volunteered at Featherston Drive Public School, where she ran small group lessons for students, assisted individuals one-on-one, and directed their Jazz Ensemble. Thanks to her previous volunteer work, Felicia started working with the Ottawa New Horizons Band in 2012, and has taken on varying roles, such as group teacher and band leader.

“I have been volunteering and working throughout my various studies from 2012-2020 and I continue to volunteer now. These have all been vital to building [my] professional experience as a teacher.”