Photo cred - @mrostovsev
With the holidays drawing ever nearer, the concept of charity and giving back to the community will be on everyone's mind. We really shouldn't have to wait for Xmas to want to help out the needy in our city, but that's just the way it goes. Rather than just think about all the ways you can make the coming weeks a bit brighter for the less fortunate, get a little crazy this December and give back to the Montreal community.
Going out and volunteering isn't a task fit only for saints. There are tons of ways to volunteer in Montreal, many of which are legitimately really fun, educational (in the non-boring way), and best of all, will truly make a difference in the lives of others. Don't just donate your change to a singing Santa on the street, check out this list and see how you can give back to the city you love to live in.
Photo cred - conquercancer.ca
Register For the Ride to Conquer Cancer
Bike riding may seem like a long way away, and it is. The two-day cycling event through the Quebec countryside in support of cancer research at Montreal's Jewish General Hospital won't take place 'til July, but you can start helping out right now by registering.
We all know someone impacted by cancer, and registering for The Ride is a great way to honour your friends and family over the holidays knowing that you will kick start 2015 with a great fitness goal and will make a huge difference for cancer research and care.
Planning in advance goes a long way. The earlier you register yourself (or better yet, a team of friends) for the Ride to Conquer Cancer, the longer you have to raise funds for cancer research and care. The Ride is a two day bicycle event that will take place on the 11th and 12th of July. While helping to conquer cancer, you'll also have the opportunity to see some of Quebec's most beautiful sites and countryside.
Photo cred - thelinknewspaper
Wrap Some Burritos For The Needy With The Burrito Project Montreal
Burritos are a simply magical food, capable of filling you up while also giving your body some much needed fuel and nutrients. The Burrito Project Montreal combines the Mexican dish with volunteering, as the group gathers every Sunday to wrap up some free vegan burritos for the homeless population of the city.
Making burritos isn't the only way to help out the BPM, as there are also individuals needed to deliver the burritos, fundraise and reach out the community. Any volunteer inquiries can be directed to: email@example.com.
Learn about one of the more creative volunteer opportunities in Montreal by to The Burrito Project Facebook page.
Photo cred - spca.com
Volunteer at the Montreal SPCA
5215 Jean-Talon West
Animal lovers, this ones for you. Actually, even if you aren't a fan of animals, but simply want to see less cats, dogs, and all other forms of animal life in the streets, then you can help out Montreal's Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) in a variety of positions.
Volunteer positions being sought after by the Montreal SPCA right now include front desk aid, lost pet finder, youth program leader, and many more.
Get all the volunteer information right here.
Photo cred - concordia.ca
Help out at AIDS Community Care Montreal
Living with HIV/AIDS is harder than many think, with the many afflicted having to deal with the illness as well as the social stigma that goes along with it. It is the mission of the AIDS Community Care Montreal (ACCM) organization to rid the world of the negative preconception associated with HIV/AIDS, while also supporting patients, and educating the entire Montreal community on the illness.
At the moment the ACCM is looking for volunteers to help out the Education for Prevention Department, with both offline (workshops, conferences) and online (blogging, programming) positions, among others.
Find out how you can help the ACCM right here.
Photo cred - La Ruche D'Art
Make Some Art For Free With La Ruche D'ARt St. Henri
Creativity and volunteering combine with the La Ruche D'ARt St. Henri iniative, which offers a public art studio (and science shop) for any and all to create a new work. A free studio space, art materials, a collective garden, and art exhibits are all offered.
The goal of La Ruche D'ARt St. Henri is to strengthen community bonds through the act of making art, gardening, and simple dialogue. If you live in St. Henri, this may be the perfect volunteer spot for you.
Find out more about La Ruche D'ARt St. Henri here.
Photo cred - mcgill.ca
Become A Part of the Radio World at Radio Centre-Ville & CKUT
Both Radio Centre-Ville and CKUT are non-profit community radio stations that are always looking for volunteers to help out in a variety of ways, from producing content, to organizing libraries, to the more technical side of broadcasting.
What makes the volunteer position so cool is that you really learn about the world of radio, and all the stuff that goes into running a station and creating a radio program. Anyone thinking of a future in the broadcast industry should definitely pay heed and check out the free training for volunteers both stations offer.
Get all the details for CKUT here and learn about Radio Centre-Ville here.
Photo cred - politicalmonkey
Make A Difference At Mission Old Brewery
For the past 125 years, Mission Old Brewery has been helping the homeless community of Montreal, in a variety of ways. Services provided by them include emergency health response, housing, services for women, community outreach, and methodological research into the root causes of homelessness.
Given the wide scope of Mission Old Brewery and the many ways it helps the community, there are tons of different volunteer positions including helping out in the kitchen, office admin, event coordinating, tutoring, mentoring, and helping out with online services.
Get involved with Mission Old Brewery by filling out the volunteer form here.
Photo cred - bikesauce
Get Involved With A Bike Coop
Just because December gets a little cold/a lot for biking doesn't mean that all the cyclists of Montreal pack it up for the year. More than a few Montrealers bike in the winter, and besides, a bike coop can still function with snow on the ground. Montreal bike coops like Right to Move and The Flat Bike Collective at McGill are all about propagating bike culture and teaching people how it can be used as an alternative means of transportation, which can be done in the winter.
Volunteering at either bike coop is truly a win-win. Not only will you help the coop function and remain open to help the Montreal community, you'll also gain a lot of technical bike skills and knowledge. Anyone wanting to up their bike game (and never have to pay for a repair) should definitely check it out.
Photo cred - nageurs.com
Get Involved With Your Local YMCA
All around Montreal, the many YMCA centres provide all kinds of community initiatives, seeking to aid everyone from young to old. Everything from fitness to after-school programs fall under the YMCA umbrella, so there's no doubt you'll find a project or program that will fit your skillset.
The available volunteer positions vary from each YMCA, so you'll have to see what your nearest YMCA is posting right now. Just make sure to not bust out the YMCA song/dance, because everyone is tired of it.
See how you can help your local YMCA here.
Photo cred - partystoredevelopers
Donate Some Old Toys To Noel Pour Tous
Everyone should have something to open on Christmas morning, and you can help make that a reality for many underprivileged children in Montreal simply by donating some of your old toys and games to the Noel Pour Tous Christmas Toy Drive put on by Welcome Hall Mission.
Registration to physically volunteer for the event on Saturday, December 6th has passed, but you can still partake by donating. Find out more by heading to the event's official listing here.
What will you do to give back to your community?
Photo cred - Espace pour la vie