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 between the fall and winter terms.

    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?

    At this time of year, many organizations find themselves short-staffed as dedicated employees take a well-deserved break, and many student volunteers leave the city. While there is greater need during times of reduced staff availability in December, 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!

    Urgent Local Needs - Winter 2021

    With winter finally here in Montreal, there is a great need to lend a helping hand, particularly for highly vulnerable populations such as the homeless. Here are a few ways to help right now:

    1.  In-person volunteering

    -- Women On The Rise (Notre-Dame-de-Grâce)

    Seeking one regular volunteer to help process their Moisson Montreal food order. This would be a monthly commitment for the second Monday of the month. The role would be to help portion their Moisson delivery into 30ish emergency food baskets, and generally takes about 3 hours (11:30-2:30). Heavy lifting is involved. PPE is supplied and COVID safety regulations are observed. This volunteer would be paired with one of their long-term volunteers, and staff will be on site and able to support as needed.

    To get involved, contact:
    development [at] womenontherise.ca (Hannah Stratford-Kurus)

    -- 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. As of December 1st, they will be open 24/7, and 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 transition to a 24/7 opening of their service starting December 1st.

    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

    -- Federation CJA (Côte-des-Neiges area)

    • Filling grocery orders
    • Delivering groceries, meals, and gift cards
    • Packing isolation kits for the vulnerable

    Gloves and masks will be provided and volunteers will work in safe environments where social distancing measures will be adhered to at all times. Volunteers can apply online, and shifts are allocated on a first come, first served basis. 

    Details and Application Form here

    2.  Seasonal clothing drives

    -- Temple Emanu-El-Beth Sholom (4100 Sherbrooke St. W.)

    As part of their Tushes and Toes drive this winter, Temple is looking for donations of brand-new winter socks, women's underwear (size large), and men's underwear (size medium and large). Items can be dropped off at Temple or you can make a monetary donation and they will shop for the items on your behalf. The items will be donated to local shelters.

    For more information, visit here.

    -- 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.

     

    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.

    Federation CJA

    • Volunteer activities include:
      • Shopping for food, meal, and pharmacy items.
      • Delivering food, meals, pharmacy items and supermarket gift cards.
      • Having friendly phone calls to check-in on homebound community members.
    • Register via this webform.

    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

    Temple Emanu-El-Beth Sholom

    • As part of their Tushes and Toes drive, Temple is looking for donations of brand-new winter socks, women's underwear (size large), and men's underwear (size medium and large). Items can be dropped off at Temple or you can make a monetary donation and they will shop for the items on your behalf.
    • For more information, visit here.

    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, 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 currently in French only, it is expected to be translated. 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.

    MORSL Bank of Student Volunteers

    If you are interested in volunteering with a group of students, please complete our webform here. Please note that you must be a McGill student. Once we receive a request, we will email all volunteer registrants seeking their availability.

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