By Isabelle Morin
A way to gain work experience and improve your skills is by helping non-profit organizations or volunteering for specific causes. But being the best volunteer in Calgary should not be your goal when joining organizations.
Instead, you should strive to provide the best impact on the constituents of the programs you’re supporting. You should also think about helping the people you are working with.
So, if you’re ready to lend your time for advocacies and also improve your skills, try out these best volunteering initiatives in Calgary.
1. Calgary Public Library
|PRODUCTS||Volunteer Work, Classes, Programs, Scholarships|
|ADDRESS||800 3 St SE, Calgary, AB T2G 2E7 (Central Library/Office)|
|CONTACT DETAILS||Phone: (403)260-2613|
E-mail: [email protected]
|OPERATING HOURS||Monday–Thursday, 9:00am–8:00pm|
With 21 public libraries all over the city, Calgary Public Library offers many volunteering opportunities for both adult and youth prospects.
Adult volunteers first go through tests and police inspections. If you’re an adult volunteer, some of the work you can do is facilitating child playdates and teen career programs.
If you’re a youth volunteer, you can share your knowledge as part of Math Quest, Coding Buddies & Code Club, and many other learning programs. Calgary Public Library also helps the best volunteers in Calgary by offering the Bright Futures Scholarship.
- 21 locations for volunteer work
- Adult and youth volunteers accepted
- Learning, reading, and writing programs
- Bright Futures Scholarship
What volunteers love about Calgary Public Library is how it fosters good communication skills with children, teenagers, and adults. These reviews will tell you more.
“At the library you meet a lot of other ethnicities, you also communicate a lot with your buddy and adults, the staff treats everyone comfortably, great place to volunteer at.”
“When I was volunteering at the Calgary Public Library i learnt to work with school age kids, tutoring them in mathematics, reading, and writing. The other volunteers were a pleasure to work with.”
2. Calgary Food Bank
|BEST FOR||Food Donating Efforts|
|PRODUCTS||Food Drives, Fundraising Events, Volunteer Work|
|ADDRESS||5000 11 Street SE Calgary, AB T2H 2Y5|
|CONTACT DETAILS||Phone: (403) 253-2059|
E-mail: [email protected]
|OPERATING HOURS||Monday–Thursday, 8:30am–4:30pm|
Friday, 8:30am–4:00 pm
Calgary Food Bank lends a hand to many families and individuals in need of a stable food source. It’s certainly had some of the best volunteers in Calgary over the years.
The food bank distributes over 100,000 food hampers every year with the help of generous sponsors and food partners.
As long as you pass their test for health and safety training, you can volunteer as a crate washer, distributor, or ID scanner. They can also station you in their warehouse, baby room, or at their call centre.
- Food distribution services
- Warehouse, baby room, and call centre work
- Health and safety training test
Here’s what previous volunteers have to say about the work environment at Calgary Food Bank.
“Are you ready to volunteer? This is a great place to do so, either by yourself or with friends or coworkers. We came here a few times with a lot of people from work and it becomes a team building event while you help them run the place. Very well organized and the staff could not be nicer.”Ignacio Ottati
“It was a great place to volunteer very friendly staff.Even the other volunteers were very friendly. Light work so anyone of any age group can help”Usman Khan
3. Calgary Drop-in Centre
|BEST FOR||Homeless Aid|
|PRODUCTS||Temporary Shelter, Housing Solutions, Health Services|
|ADDRESS||1 Dermot Baldwin Way SE, Calgary, AB T2G 0P8|
|CONTACT DETAILS||Phone: (403) 263-5707|
|OPERATING HOURS||Open 24/7|
Calgary Drop-in Centre is the place to best volunteer in Calgary if you want to help homeless people find a home of their own.
This charity organization helps homeless people get back on their feet by providing temporary shelter, employment training, health services, and housing support.
You can help by serving food, knitting winter wear, and assisting in warehouse activities when you apply to volunteer. The best part is that you can volunteer as an individual or as a group.
- Help for the homeless
- Variety of volunteer activities
- Volunteering as an individual or group
With Calgary Drop-in Centre’s kind staff, you can surely improve your skills and grow to be the best volunteer in Calgary, all while serving a good cause. Read these reviews from previous volunteers to know more.
“We volunteered to serve food. The employees cooked, and it looked of good quality. Employees were extremely organized and friendly. Patrons of drop in center were appreciative of the volunteers and meal. It’s an excellent amenity. If you have the means to donate time or money I’d recommend. The clientele is very diverse and need the help.”Lindsay Walker
“I have been a volunteer for over 10 years. This shelter turns away no one and offers a wide array of programs to assist Calgary’s most vulnerable population. Keep up the good work!”Natalie Ross
4. AARCS – Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society
|BEST FOR||Animals and Wildlife|
|PRODUCTS||Animal Rescue Initiatives|
|ADDRESS||5060 74 Ave SE, Calgary, AB T2C 3C9|
|CONTACT DETAILS||Phone: (403) 250-7377|
E-mail: [email protected]
|OPERATING HOURS||Monday–Friday, 9:00am–5:00pm|
Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society (AARCS) offers medical solutions, shelter, and other support programs to rescued animals in Calgary.
You can volunteer as a caregiver to the Safe Haven, a shelter for homeless animals. They are also occasionally looking for volunteers willing to help in fundraising, transportation, and publicity.
As long as you can meet their requirements, such as committing for at least a year, AARCS will be the way for you to best volunteer in Calgary.
- Animal shelter and vet clinic
- Fundraisers, drivers, photographers, and videographers
- One-year minimum commitment
Know more about the organization’s opportunities by looking at these reviews from their volunteers.
“I’ve volunteered at this place and what they are doing is amazing. I would highly recommend to pay them a visit and see if you can help them out. They are doing great things for our province.”Ignacio Ottati
“ Great organization, the right balance of heart and ability to maintain high animal welfare standards. Their new facility is really great! I adopted a puppy from them ages ago and I volunteer when I can. I recommend them to everyone who’s looking to volunteer/foster/adopt/donate!”Stephanie Findlay
5. Youth Central
|BEST FOR||Variety of Youth Opportunities|
|PRODUCTS||Work Opportunities, Foundation Grants|
|ADDRESS||105 12 Ave SE Suite 820, Calgary, AB T2G 1A1|
|CONTACT DETAILS||Phone: (403) 266-5448|
E-mail: [email protected]
|OPERATING HOURS||Monday–Friday, 8:30am–4:30pm|
Youth Central was established in 1992 to provide volunteering opportunities for the youth. They provide vital roles to empower the youth and improve their skills.
They have outreach programs and municipal work you can immerse yourself in. Youth Central also has an ongoing program called the Calgary Youth Foundation, where volunteers scout worthy community projects and pitch them to potential funders.
If you’re within the 12-to-18-year-old age range, then you can register as a volunteer. You’ll be updated for opportunities on their site and your volunteer hours will also reflect on your profile 48 hours after your work.
- Youth-centred work opportunities
- Calgary Youth Foundation and other programs
- Online profile and list of opportunities
Read these reviews from their youth volunteers to know if Youth Central is the organization where you can best volunteer in Calgary.
“The most valuable part of Youth Central is meeting all of the other like-minded individuals who are passionate about making a difference.”
“Youth Central’s Youth Volunteer Corps has given me opportunities to discover my passions and explore the world around me – it has sparked a lot of inspiration in me!”
6. Grow Calgary
|BEST FOR||Volunteer Programs Focusing On Fresh Produce|
|PRODUCTS||Education, Veteran Programs|
|ADDRESS||Range Rd 293A, Rocky View County, AB T0M 0E0, Canada|
|CONTACT DETAILS||+1 403 383 3420 | [email protected]|
|OPERATING HOURS||Contact for more details|
Grow Calgary is Canada’s largest urban community farm. They are a nonprofit organization that grows fresh produce for social agencies in Calgary with food access programs.
Thanks to their volunteers and the generous spirit of the community, they have managed to donate to over 40 Compassionate Food Access Agencies in Calgary, with 95% of their recipients being women and children. Their ultimate goal is to ensure that all residents of Calgary, especially those who are vulnerable and living in poverty, have consistent access to healthy, local food.
- Healthy food
- Volunteer run
- Various initiatives
Here’s what people have to say about Grow Calgary:
“What a great place, doing great things 🙂 thanks Paul!!!!”
“My experience was very warm and inviting. My first visit was during winter to pick up seeds and tray of dirt to help for their growing season. I’ll edit my review for other seasons as I’m there.”
7. Cerebral Palsy Association of Alberta (CPPA)
|BEST FOR||Help for cerebral palsy patients|
|PRODUCTS||Health & wellness programs, fundraisers, donation drives|
|ADDRESS||12001 44 St SE, Calgary, AB T2Z 4G9|
|CONTACT DETAILS||(403) 543-1161|
|OPERATING HOURS||Saturday – Friday: 8:30 AM – 4.30 PM|
With the belief of “There’s no limit to the hero you can be!”, Cerebral Palsy Association in Alberta (CPAA) offers various ways for you to help other people. Through this organization, you can volunteer, join fundraisers, donate money, or contribute items.
To create more opportunities to help cerebral palsy patients, CPAA also has creative programs and events. Such events include poker nights, golf tournaments, and artisan markets.
You can thus volunteer for any of their events or fundraisers. But if you want to do more, you can also sign up as one of their members, where you can also have fun attending and organizing CPAA’s health & wellness programs.
- Geared towards helping cerebral palsy patients
- One-time volunteering for events
- Creative events and programs
- Free health & wellness programs
Here’s what one of their volunteers have to say about her experience with CPAA.
“I love volunteering with Music Circle every week and working with Marcus Fung.”—Susan Whalen Janzen
8. Women’s Centre Of Calgary
|BEST FOR||Women centered services|
|PRODUCTS||Basic needs, legal and financial assistance, agency referrals, resources, workshops|
|ADDRESS||39 – 4 Street NE, Calgary, Alberta T2E 3R6|
|CONTACT DETAILS||(403) 264-1155|
|OPERATING HOURS||Monday – Thursday: 9:30am–5:30pm|
Friday – Sunday: Closed
Women’s Centre Of Calgary is a safe haven for women facing poverty, abuse, unemployment, homelessness and etc. They understand the gap of living with men, and have created a place in which women can feel empowered in the presence of each other regardless of background.
With over 800 women volunteers providing free workshops, legal and financial assistance, and other resources, Women’s Centre Of Calgary definitely is an essential place for every woman. Whatever your problem may be, just drop by and they will ensure to help in respect to your dignity as a woman.
- Their view in aiding women are intersectional, and tackling gender based issues in relation to poverty and family.
- Their place is now open for volunteers, and they will receive safe training following new protocols.
Here’s a review from one of Women’s Centre Of Calgary’s clients:
“A supportive place that welcomes all women. I volunteer here and what I love most is that the Women’s Centre provides accessible resources in a practical, non-judgmental manner. I feel like this centre is a micro-community of women looking to build each other up and challenge the gendered lense that the world is often viewed through. Would highly recommend getting involved!”
Here’s another one:
“Womens Centre of Calgary is one of the best places to go when you are in need. They have so many great programs, you can visit them once a month to get a couple toiletries that you may need like toilet paper, toothpaste, shampoo etc. And they have a child birthday program up to two weeks before your childs birthday you can go in with your childs identification and pick out a free gift from a selection they will provide you based on ideas you give them, I am not 100% sure if there is an age that they stop at or not. I am a low income mother of an 4 year old Autistic child and his birthday just passed and I went in and talked to a lovely worker who gave me a great selection of Brand New Never opened toys for my son and I was able to pick out a Baby Shark Playdoh set for him. The workers here are always so sweet and super helpful. If you are ever in need of anything just give them a call and they will set you up with an appointment and let you know what they can help with. This organization is great and honestly they have helped me so much, I really appreciate everything they have done for me and my son. I believe they even have times where they can help you with your taxes, getting identification etc. So helpful and if they dont have what you need they usually will be able to direct you in the right direction! Womens Centre is Great!!”
Volunteer work benefits a lot of people, from staff to constituents. So, to best volunteer in Calgary, join any of these organizations and serve your fellow Calgarians.
If you don’t have much time for volunteer work but are still willing to help those in need, you can contact the best Calgary charities for donation opportunities.