"It feels good to know that you are helping out members of our community who need it. The smiles of gratitude we get when we show up at the door - well, I think sometimes that we benefit more from it than they do!"
- Slava McIntyre and Ida Francis, Meals on Wheels volunteers
Community Support Connections - Meals on Wheels and More simply could not exist without the small acts of kindness from our truly incredible volunteers. They are the very heart and soul of the organization, and their words and acts of kindness help to bring smiles to the faces of all of our clients!
This past year, 699 volunteers were actively involved in 11 kinds of volunteer activities - donating approximately 70,407 hours of their time. That is equal to over 38 full time jobs!
There are many ways to get involved!
We are always looking for caring people to help us fulfill our mission. Whether you have a wide open schedule or only a lunch hour to commit to, we have an opportunity for you! Please call (519) 772-8787 for more information on these or any other opportunities.
Highland Baptist Community Dining Needs Transportation Volunteers
Community Dining is a fun afternoon volunteer opportunity once or twice a month where you can enjoy a delicious meal, assist in a recreational activity and expand your social network. This fun and flexible volunteer opportunity fills quickly.
We currently need volunteer drivers to pick up two or three clients at their homes and transport them to our Community Dining Program hosted at Highland Baptist Church in Kitchener. Once you transport the clients, you would then help serve lunch, assist in an activity arranged by our staff, help to tidy-up and drive the clients home. The time commitment is just a couple of hours and includes a complimentary lunch.
Highland Baptist Church is located at 135 Highland Rd. W, Kitchener. Drivers are required on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of the month between 11:00-2:00PM.
You must have a clean driving record and at least $1 million in liability coverage on your car insurance.
If you’re interested, we would love to hear from you! Apply under the “Volunteer” tab, or call Ann at (519) 772-8787 x 205
Drivers Urgently Needed to Escort Seniors to Medical Appointments
This past month alone we have had over 100 additional requests for rides to medical appointments and community programs. As our population ages, the need for our services increase and we find ourselves with a shortage of drivers.
It is a small commitment, only a few hours in a week, which would make all the difference to seniors and adults with disabilities in your community who may be living in isolation, or find themselves unable to access much needed medical supports due to loss of mobility.
No regular commitment is required - you let us know when you're available, and we'll schedule you rides during those times. Our transportation program allows our clients (seniors in Kitchener) to get to their doctor's appointments safely and at a minimal cost. In return, you'll have the opportunity to meet some very unique members of your own community!
Mileage reimbursement is available. For more information, contact Ann Robitaille, Volunteer Coordinator at (519) 772-8787 x 205.
Meals on Wheels Volunteer Driver/Runner - Kitchener
Volunteers will deliver hot and/or frozen meals to seniors and/or disabled adults in their own homes. Meals are delivered in K-W Monday through Friday over the lunch hour. Volunteers can choose to drive or to accompany a driver and assist with meal delivery. Volunteers must be honest, non-judgmental, caring, and able to handle emergency situations in a calm manner. Volunteer drivers must have access to a vehicle, a valid driver's license, minimum $1 million liability insurance, and a good driving record. Meals are delivered from our depot on Shirley Avenue in Kitchener. Mileage reimbursement is available for the route. (Meals are also delivered to our Cambridge clients Monday through Friday from a Cambridge location.)
Orientation to the agency and program and training on client monitoring and emergency procedures are provided. In-car training with a staff member is provided before the volunteer is asked to deliver on their own. Ongoing support is always available.
Monday to Friday from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. (meal routes take no more than 1 hour) or on a spare or seasonal basis. Deliver meals once per week, or once per month. Deliver more often if you'd like - we will work with your schedule. Closed on statutory holidays.
If you’re interested, but have more questions, I’d love to hear from you! Apply under the “Volunteer” tab, or call Jennifer Ball, Volunteer Coordinator at (519) 772-8787 x 251.
Friendly Visitors for Seniors
Friendly visitors are needed to spend time with seniors who are living independently in their own home, but are isolated and in need of companionship. Spend 2 to 3 hours each week sharing mutually enjoyable activities such as conversation, crafts, games, or old movies. If the volunteer has a vehicle, visits can include occasional outings. Men are matched with men, and women are matched with women. Volunteers must have good communication skills, patience and the ability to reach out to a lonely person. Make a significant difference in someone's life by investing just a few hours a week. Mileage reimbursement is offered for outings.
Orientation and on-going supervisor support is provided as needed.
2 to 3 hours per week at a time suitable for both senior and volunteer. A minimum 6 month commitment is required for this volunteer position.
If you’re interested, but have more questions, I’d love to hear from you! Apply under the “Volunteer” tab, or call Ann Robitaille, Volunteer Coordinator at (519) 772-8787 x 205.
- Driver Escorts provide escorted transportation for medical and banking appointments using their own personal vehicle.
- Shopper Escortsprovide either list or escorted shopping. Volunteers shop and carry as needed.
- Friendly Visitors are matched with a client for weekly visits at the client's home for 2-3 hours once per week. The visits may include outings if the volunteer has a car.
- Meals on Wheels Drivers deliver hot and frozen meals to clients' homes on a route over the lunch hour, Monday to Friday.
- Community Dining Hosts assist clients every second week on the lunch hour at one of our congregate dining locations. Day depends on the location of the program.
- Office Volunteers help with tasks at our Waterloo office such as answering phones, coordinating mail outs, helping with large print jobs.
- Students are needed to cut grass or shovel snow. Earn your 40 Community Involvement hours helping someone in your neighbourhood.
- Board of Directors we are looking for dynamic, innovative, collaborative individuals to sit on our Board of Directors.
- Fundraising Volunteers help with many of the aspects of our key fundraising events, both leading up to and on the day of the event.
- Telephone Reassurance Callers make daily ‘check in’ phone calls to provide a friendly contact at a designated time of the day
- Exercise Instructors lead free group gentle exercise classes at community locations, or one on one sessions in a client's home to help them maintain mobility and independence.
- Committee Members to arrange events or support the Board of Directors. Current commitees include Golf Tournament, Souper Sampler, Policy, & others.
- Custom Volunteer Positions Do you have a skill to share with us? Can you think of a unique way to lend your support? Let us know your ideas and we can happily work on tailoring a custom volunteer position for you!
At Community Support Connections - Meals on Wheels and More we value any amount of time you can provide to us. We offer a variety of positions with flexible schedules.
Typically our volunteers spend a minimum of two hours per week volunteering for a minimum commitment of six months.
Many volunteers form strong connections with clients, fellow volunteers and staff which have contributed to our amazing volunteer retention.
We encourage and support open communication with staff and understand that life happens and there may be a need for your commitment to change.
Once you have made your initial inquiry with us, we will review your application and invite you to an interview, which takes no longer than half an hour. In the interview we discuss your interests and availability and provide a more in depth description of volunteer positions available.
You will leave the interview with plenty of information including paperwork to assist you in obtaining a Police Records Check. We require all volunteers to obtain a police records check.
In addition to the police records check we do ask that you provide two (2) references for us to contact.
Once your police check is complete and has been reviewed by our staff, we will invite you to training for your specific area of interest and then place you in a volunteer role.
"The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention."
Thank you, CSC volunteers, for your many, many acts of kindness. We are so grateful to have such an incredible group of volunteers working with us towards our mission. As always, a huge Thank You to all of our volunteers for all that you do for our clients and community. You are the very heart of Community Support Connections - and we could never do it without you!
These smiling faces are just a few of our many incredible volunteers. Meet a few more below!
Jack Tripp: Volunteering Helps Keep Me Young
By: Lisa Browning
Every morning at about 8:30, Jack Tripp takes his dog, Chloe, out for her morning walk. They walk for about 30 minutes, on a two-block route. Jack then drops Chloe back off at home, so he can continue at a faster pace, for another 2 ½ miles.
The walks are not the only impressive thing about Jack. He travels extensively, usually going on two trips a year, and he has also volunteered on a regular basis for the past 20 years.
Currently, his volunteer efforts are spent with Community Support Connections – Meals on Wheels, an organization based in Waterloo, Ontario, dedicated to enabling people to live at home with independence and dignity. Every Monday and Tuesday, Jack delivers a hot meal to approximately 6-8 homes in the Cambridge area.
From the Community Support Connections Spring 2010 newsletter: “Hot, fresh meals and home-style frozen meals are available. All menus are prepared for quality and to offer a nutritionally balanced meal. A variety of specialized therapeutic diets can be accommodated.”
From April 1, 2009 to March 31, 2010, Meals on Wheels delivered 77,769 meals to residents of Cambridge, Kitchener, North Dumfries and Waterloo. Meals on Wheels is not the first volunteer activity with which Jack has been involved. His volunteer efforts go back to 1985, when he started with a volunteer organization in Etobicoke, also delivering Meals on Wheels, and taking people to doctor’s and hospital appointments. Jack keeps a scrapbook, in which are displayed several certificates of appreciation for his volunteer efforts, including one from his previous employer, Bell Canada.
When I asked Jack what he likes most about his volunteer activities, he responded simply: “I like helping people who need it, and I like the community and social aspect of volunteering. I like meeting new people.”
This, in and of itself, would not be as remarkable, or even as noteworthy ... were it not for the fact that Jack is 90 years old. On a regular basis, when he discloses his age, he is met with disbelief ... and I understand why. He certainly does not look, or act, like a 90-yearold man. I can say this with confidence, because I have known him for over 50 years. Jack Tripp is my father, a man I love very much, and of whom I am very proud.
Jack Tripp was born in Royal Oak, Michigan in 1920. He moved to Canada in 1933, joined the Air Force in 1941, and became a Flight Instructor in 1942. He received an Honourable Discharge in 1945, with a King’s Commendation for Valuable Service in the Air. He retired in 1980 from Bell Canada’s Engineering Department, after 40 years of service. He currently resides in Cambridge, Ontario.
For Nick Vukovic, 29, making the choice to volunteer was an easy one. Nick has a strong background of volunteer service, thanks in part to years of playing professional hockey in the OHL.
“We were really encouraged to get out into the community, to try to help out and become positive role models. So I have been volunteering for the past ten years, throughout the US and Ontario, wherever I find myself for hockey.”
Nick had previously volunteered with a Meals on Wheels program in Owen Sound and really enjoyed the experience. So when he moved into the Waterloo region, he started to look around for something similar. He came across the CSC website, and became interested in the idea of driving seniors to medical appointments.
“Delivering Meals on Wheels was great, but doing escorted driving with seniors has been pretty amazing so far. It gives you a bit more interaction. You are in the car with a client for a certain amount of time, and then take them into their appointments and drive them back home, so there is time there for some good conversations,” he says.
“You really get to know some of the clients, and they get to know you, and trust you. I’ve even gone out for coffee once or twice with a client after their appointment, just to keep sharing stories!”
Nick works in the construction business, and says that the flexibility of the position really appealed to him. “It really works with my schedule. You can decide when you are available, and there will always be someone that needs a ride.”
And what keeps him volunteering?
“Plain and simple – it makes me feel good,” he says with a smile. “It feels good to play just a small part in helping someone to lead a healthy, full life.”
Thank you for your interest in volunteering with us! For your convenience, we have made it even easier to learn about our organization and how to get started volunteering right away.
The sessions are brief (approximately half-an-hour long), and will give you information about the many programs and services we offer to the community and the ways in which you can participate. To facilitate keeping the sessions on track, we ask that you either submit your volunteer application directly on our website, or download our application and bring it filled-out to the session.
We do ask that everyone interested RSVP at least 2 days prior to the session as space is limited. To sign-up, you can either click the link below, or call our office at (519) 772-8787. If your schedule changes or you find yourself unable to attend, please call and let us know.
Information Sessions take place at the following locations on the following days a month:
420 Weber St. North, Waterloo:
Available in October, November, January, March, and May on the 4th Wednesday of the month at 7:00pm.
887 Langs Drive, Cambridge:
Available in October, February, April, and June on the 2nd Wednesday of the month at 6:00pm.
Please be advised that scented products can aggravate health problems for some people, especially those with asthma, allergies and other medical conditions. Community Support Connections - Meals on Wheels and More asks that all employees, workers, volunteers and visitors limit the use of such products before entering or while in our offices.
Thank you for your interest in volunteering with us. For your convenience, we offer two ways for you to apply to our organization. You can either:
Download an Application Form in PDF or Word. Once you have completed the form, you can either email it as an attachment to our Volunteer Coordinator, fax it to us at (519) 742-5523 or mail it to 420 Weber St. N., Unit L Waterloo, ON N2L 4E7.
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