Volunteer opportunities

MORSL is committed to serving the community however possible, and volunteering is a great way to show solidarity in these challenging times. As always, volunteers and organizations must follow all health guidelines in effect to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Remote volunteering and donating items or money is also a great, safe way to support local organizations.

    Why volunteer?

    Much of our daily routines have been disrupted or significantly adjusted by what is currently going on, and volunteering can help give you a sense of purpose or stability during this period of uncertainty. It can be a wonderful way to combat restlessness, anxiety, or general boredom. This can be especially rewarding during the time that the university closes such as between terms or during breaks.

    What kinds of volunteering experiences are available?

    We have received numerous requests from various organizations seeking volunteers - student volunteers included - to help with basic activities such as:

    • Home deliveries of food, meals, pharmacy items, and other essential items.
    • Calling those in self-isolation to provide support and communication.
    • Assisting in homeless shelters to help keep them open and operating according to health guidelines.

    When are volunteers needed?

    During many times of the year, organizations find themselves short-staffed as dedicated employees take a well-deserved break or as student volunteers leave the city. While there is greater need during times of reduced staff availability in summer, all these organizations need help year 'round. If you find yourself in a position to help others, please consider contacting one of the organizations listed here, or an organization in your home community. Thank you!


    Communities United for Ukraine 2022

    Many local groups are organizing efforts to bring relief to Ukraine. Below are some opportunities to get involved. You may also wish to follow volunteer and donation opportunities posted on McGill Ukrainian Students' Association and or Montreal area Ukraine relief information. If there is an opportunity or effort you'd like MORSL to add to this page, please send the information to morsl [at] mcgill.ca.

    1. Church of St. Andrew and St. Paul Church School Youth Group Ukrainian Project (3415 Redpath St., near campus)

    Update (March 25th): Due to the incredible response and increasing lack of space at the Ukrainian Church, they are no longer collecting clothing items at this time. What they need are medical supplies, personal hygiene products, non-perishable food items and gift cards from Walmart, Grocery Stores and Pharmacies in smaller denominations ($10, $20, $25, $30) which will be divided amongst the refugees, anticipated to arrive with no more than a piece of luggage. We will continue to deliver your donations to the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Ukrainian Catholic Church in Rosemount, for as long as the need for donations continues.

    If you would like to help out, please drop off your gift cards or other requests noted, at our church office to “Sharon’s Attention”, or contact her at churchschool [at] standrewstpaul.com. We will be delivering all donations approximately once a week, as the Ukrainian church organizes and makes space on a regular basis.

    An additional need is for VOLUNTEERS to help with the sorting of donations – if you would like to volunteer, please contact Sharon at 450-689-4379.

    2. Federation Coalition for Jewish Values (CJV) (Cummings Square, 5151 Cote Sainte-Catherine Road)

    The Montreal Federation CJV community is collecting these items (new clothing, and new, sealed toiletries):

    • warm socks
    • coats
    • gloves, hats, and scarves
    • diapers
    • toothbrushes and toothpaste
    • soap and deodorant

    You may drop off at the address listed above Monday to Friday from 8 AM to 6 PM and Sunday from 10 AM to 4 PM. Federation CJA has been actively engaged in Montreal and with Jewish Federations of North America and their global network in relief efforts, especially on the ground since the outset of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. They are an integral part of a worldwide $20 million emergency campaign to provide humanitarian assistance where funds will be allocated through The Jewish Agency for Israel, The Joint Distribution Committee and World ORT, along with others who are on the ground in Ukraine. These funds will alleviate suffering and safeguard Ukraine's Jewish community, as well as Jews in neighboring countries. To donate, visit this webform

    3. Ukrainian Catholic Church of St-Michael's (2388, Rue d'Iberville)

    This community is collecting medical supplies to ship to Ukraine everyday from 9:00am-8:00pm. You can find a complete list of desired items here. This church is also accepting volunteer help with the relief effort. Volunteers are using this doodle page to schedule slots of time. You may contact them at 514-521-2234. Contact Olga at 438-225-2002 to inquire about volunteering to answer calls; volunteers who are fluent in English and French are needed to receive calls. 

    4. Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Ukrainian Church (6185 10th Ave.)

    Visit this church's website to see a list of a large variety of non-perishable food items, medical supplies, and hygienic items sought for Ukraine relief by this community. You can bring donations to the address above between 11am-1pm and 5-8pm daily. This church is also accepting drop-in volunteers, who help sort and organize donations. Come join them at 6185 10th Avenue between 11am-8pm weekdays, 11am-5pm Saturdays, and 11am-3pm Sundays. Contact the volunteer coordinator, Ruslana Molodsova at 438-988-7932 for any inqueries. There is also a fundraising effort for Ukraine relief making and selling pierogies and cabbage rolls. If you'd like to volunteer to help prepare these, call Kateryna Dejneka at 514-721-7932. To buy the pierogies and cabbage rolls, call 514-593-0707. Also see their website for additional relief opportunities.

    5. Saint Sophie Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral (6250 12th Ave.)

    This community is gathering items needed to welcome Ukrainian refugees to Montreal and is accepting donations, including:

    • Diapers. Wipes. Baby Food. Formula. Pacifiers. Other Baby Items.
    • Blankets (NEW ONLY)
    • New baby clothing and new clothing for other ages
    • New stuffed animal or small games. Coloring books and crayons.
    • Hygiene products: Shampoo. Deodorant. Sanitary napkins. Toothbrush. Toothpaste.
    • Medical supplies
    • Walkie talkies, sleeping bags, and flashlights
    • Monetary donations

    For more details and how to donate, visit their website and this additional call for donations posted by a partner Ukrainian Orthodox Church. Contact Fr. Volodymyr Kouchnir 514-947-2235 kouchnir.volodymyr [at] gmail.com or Sergei Stasiouk 514-569-1017 for drop off times

    6. Ascension of Our Lord Roman Catholic Parish (375 Ave. Kitchener)

    This parish is collecting any Medical supplies (esp. bandages, wound products), baby food and baby formula, diapers, and sanitary products. They will be sent by the church to Poland to assist the Ukranian refugees. Please place your items in the box designated for collection located at the back of the church. Visit their statement about the situation in Ukraine for full details. Also see other opportunities to donate to Catholic efforts on at this same link. 

    7. Église Unie St. Jean (110 Rue Ste. Catherine E)

    Visit their website to make a donation to Fonds de secours Croix Rouge Canadienne to help Ukraine.

    8. Beth Tikvah Congregation (136 Boul. Westpark)

    Click here to donate to their Ukraine Relief Fund. 

    9. People's Church of Montreal (2097 Union Ave.)

    Visit their list of Donations for Ukraine for more donation ideas.

    10. Desautels Faculty of Management 

    Desautels Faculty of Management is supporting an initiative led by Professor Ruslan Goyenko to provide aid to refugees (mostly women and children) at the border of Poland and those coming into Canada. Specifically, they are collecting and delivering donations of non-perishable food and medication.
    Non-perishable food: Canned goods, baby formula, cereals, biscuits, coffee (brewed/instant), tea, sugar, energy bars, water, dried fruits, nuts, etc.
    Medications and related items: Analgesics (pain relief), anti-inflammatories, antipyretics (fever), disinfectants, bandages, medical gloves, anti-burn or wound-healing dressings, decompression needles, and more.
    Drop off locations: Bronfman Building lobby (1001 Sherbrooke West); Donald E. Armstrong Building lobby  (3420 McTavish)
    Donations are being accepted at these two locations until Thursday, April 14, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday. For questions, please contact ruslan.goyenko [at] mcgill.ca (Prof. Ruslan Goyenko).

    11. Other McGill Inititatives

    Please see the McGill Reporter's list of McGill Initiatives to help Ukraine for information about more projects happening on campus.


    Urgent Local Needs - 2022

    There is a great need to lend a helping hand, particularly for highly vulnerable populations such as the homeless and those who have little or no income. Here are a few ways to help right now:

    1.  In-person volunteering

    -- Union United Church (3007 Delisle Street)

    Do you have a moment between papers and exams to help out? You could be of invaluable assistance as a food bank volunteer every Tuesday on site, or by offering your time from the comfort of your home to make some phone calls and do some admin tasks on your computer.

    Your kindness and generosity are greatly appreciated. Please contact the Outreach coordinator directly by unionunitedchurchmtl [at] gmail.com (email) or by phone at 514.932.8731 ext. 2

    -- The Open Door (3535 Av. du Parc)

    Many in the McGill community are familiar with The Open Door located near campus. This drop-in centre provides services and temporary shelter to the homeless and low-income people in downtown Montreal. They need volunteers for all the tasks involved in running this vital service such as: laundry, sanitation, kitchen work and welcome station.  These shifts are generally between 8AM and 8PM, in 4-hour blocks.

    Please consider volunteering your time to help The Open Door.

    To get involved, contact:
    Leila Qashu, Volunteer Coordinator
    dgtodm [at] gmail.com

    To donate items:
    Click here for drop-off hours and list of items needed

    2.  Seasonal clothing drives

    -- Accueil Bonneau (420 Saint-Paul E.)

    This organization provides a resting space, bathroom, meals, meetings with social workers and more. They have ongoing needs for various articles, primarily for men, that include clothing and toiletries. Visit their website for a list of articles they need as well as drop-off times and location.

    For more information, visit here.

    -- Old Brewery Mission (915 Clark St.)

    The Old Brewery Mission works with Montreal’s homeless men and women, meeting their essential needs while finding practical and sustainable solutions to end chronic homelessness. They are in need of various articles, including clothing and toiletries. Visit their website for a list of articles they need as well as drop-off times and location. 

    For more information, visit here.

    -- The Open Door (3535 Avenue du Parc)

    Seeking winter coats and boots of all adult sizes. These can be dropped off any day before 8 PM.

    -- Resilience Montreal (4000 Rue St. Catherine Ouest)

    Desperate need of winter jackets and boots of all adult sizes, as well as snow pants, mittens, tuques, gloves, wool socks, and warm blankets. These can be dropped off at the back door, between 8AM and 2PM from Monday-Thursday, or 8AM-12PM on Friday.

    -- Raphael Andre Memorial Tent (2330 Rue St. Catherine Ouest)

    Need of all adult winter gear and packed meals. This can be dropped off from 8:30PM - 5AM.


    Ongoing Community and Congregation-Affiliated Volunteer Opportunities

    There are many congregation-affiliated volunteer opportunities available in the Montreal and surrounding areas.

    These opportunities are open to both McGill students, non-McGill students, and general members of the community.

    Please note that MORSL is not affiliated with these organizations. If you feel uncomfortable with volunteering with strangers in the community, we recommend that you join our bank of student volunteers via the webform linked below.

    Mission Old Brewery

    • Volunteer activities include:
      • Helping in the kitchen and serving meals
      • Office administration duties
      • Organizing and supporting events
      • Donating professional services like legal advice, accounting, translation, graphic design and photography
    • If you are interested in volunteering, call 514 866-6591 ext.0 or email info [at] missionoldbrewery.ca

    MADA Community Centre

    • Provides home-delivered meals, including Shabbat meals, to elderly and disabled.
    • Runs a regular Foodbank, Clothing depot & Goods4Goods Store and Home Furniture Depot for those in need.
    • A Care & Call Program is designed to contact and ensure the well-being of Jewish clients who have no social support and who live alone.
    • Looking for volunteers for their COVID-19 programme. Register online to take part.

    Open Door

    • The Open Door (3535 Park) provides services and temporary shelter to the homeless and low-income people in downtown Montreal. As of December 1st, this centre will be open 24/7, and is in need volunteers for all the tasks: laundry and donation sorting, kitchen, cleaning on the main floor and the front desk. These shifts are generally between 8AM and 8PM.
    • If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Leila Qashu, Volunteer Coordinator, at dgtodm [at] gmail.com.

    Sister Sabria Foundation

    • Offers food baskets and emergency food support especially for Ramadan and COVID-19 challenges
    • Provides free meals in the community through mosques, churches and community centres
    • Runs a 14-bed shelter for vulnerable women and their families
    • For volunteering opportunities, please reach out online or to info [at] sistersabria.org and include a short paragraph about why you’re interested in donating your time to their cause and a copy of your current CV

    Yellow Door

    • Staff will work from home and continue to run an altered version of our Generations Program in an attempt to help vulnerable and self-isolating seniors. If you are interested in assisting seniors during this time, please complete the volunteer application.
    • Types of volunteer activities include:
      • Friendly Calls: volunteers call (from their cell phone) senior members for a weekly check-in/friendly calls.
      • Friendly Errands: volunteers meet seniors at their door, receive a grocery list and money, run the errands, and deliver the items to the seniors door.
      • Accompaniments: volunteers assist seniors getting to and from critical medical appointments.

    Quebec-wide listing (external)

    On March 26, 2020, Premier Legault encouraged Quebeckers to volunteer to help the most vulnerable among us weather the hardships caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Quebec government has set up a volunteer website that collects requests all across the province - not just Montreal. While this site is mostly in French, there is some English content. If you are comfortable in French, have a look and see if you can help. A few types of tasks that are needed include:

    • Shopping for food, meal, and pharmacy items.
    • Delivering food, meals, pharmacy items and supermarket gift cards.
    • Making friendly phone calls to check in on home-bound community members.
    • Online tutoring to assist school kids with remote learning.

    Volunteering at MORSL 

    Click here to see current opportunities at MORSL. 

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