We need you! You can volunteer your time with OPACC in many rewarding ways! Please contact us if you are interested in any of the options below, and we will be happy to get back to you with more information.
Drop-in volunteers at SickKids or CVH: Our Parent Liaisons at SickKids and CVH welcome volunteers who would like to come out and join them at our drop-ins! You don't have to be a trained Facilitator to volunteer. Just come out and see what running a support group is like, meet families, and generally help out! [Currently on hold until we get permission from the hospitals to bring in external volunteers]
Event volunteers (including at the Adventures in the Park event in September - high school students welcome)
Fundraising volunteers (including hosting third-party fundraisers, Kaps4Kids school events, etc. - high school students welcome)
Sewing colourful pillowcases for kids in hospitals through our Comfy Cases program (high school students welcome)
Building backyard playgrounds for sick kids in the summer through our Million Dollar Smiles program
Volunteering at our charitable gaming events (2 hours/month) in Scarborough
(ages 19+ only)
Youth Council for high school students
These are just some of the places where our Volunteers help out:
"I am so happy I was able to run the session this evening [Tuesday evening hospital drop-in] as tonight really demonstrated to me how much having these Tuesday sessions mean to the family even if it’s a quick drop by to just say hello and have a quick chat and cup of coffee.
[After experiencing an emotional moment with a parent:] I saw in that moment how powerful these sessions are and even though I have not lived through what she is going through, my presence and shoulder to cry on was just what she needed…someone to listen to her and just be there.
Thank you again Susan for the opportunity for being part of this amazing organization that I believe is making a difference to these parents' experience at Sick Kids."
"My experience there with you [Susan] and Karen, was surely one that I would not forget. You both bring a vast amount of ‘much needed value’ to both the families and their kids’ lives. I saw the warmth and comfort shared among you all, and I was delighted to have had that opportunity to witness this first-hand. [...] Your time, energy and thoughtfulness to get opinions across, and sharing your thoughts and values (with the decision makers) are well rewarded."
I want to volunteer! How do I start?
Read our Volunteer webpage here to view available positions and fill out the application. Depending on your area of interest, you will be contacted by the appropriate person (our Parent Liaison Susan for hospital volunteers, your community group facilitator, or our Administrator Sarai for all others) with next steps.
What benefits do I get?
Parking reimbursements for shift (hospital volunteers)
Beverages and snacks for shift
Experience and opportunity to give back to the community!
Do I need to submit a police background check?
OPACC volunteers that work directly with children are recommended to submit a recent police check (within 2 years). Many municipalities offer free police checks for volunteers with a letter from the organization (OPACC can provide). Most of our volunteers do not work directly with children as we primarily support parents. In the hospitals, any volunteers work closely under the supervision of our Parent Liaisons, who did pass background checks with vulnerable sector screening.
Do I have to register with the hospitals?
Although OPACC is an organization operating and funded separately from SickKids and Credit Valley Hospital, we are closely integrated within the hospitals and as such are subject to their rules and regulations regarding volunteers. While it's not necessary for a casual volunteer, if you decide to volunteer regularly with OPACC at the hospitals, you will need to register with their Volunteer Services department to get an ID badge. Our Parent Liaisons can provide more information about this.
Is there a dress code?
Wear any required identification and appropriate clothing. All items of clothing must be suitable for the work environment and should not contain offensive or objectionable material (slogans or graphics). Use common sense - office attire is best for hospital volunteers. A dress code is enforced for our charitable gaming volunteers: OPACC collared shirt (one will be provided to you), dark pants or skirts, appropriate footwear (no flip flops, Crocs type shoes, etc). Ask us if you have any doubts!
Can volunteers provide medical advice?
No! Not even our Parent Liaisons can do this. Volunteers are there to provide non-medical support for families. In addition, volunteers are not permitted to act as professional health care providers when they are acting in a volunteer capacity, regardless of any professional background they may have. Any medical questions a parent may have need to be referred back to their healthcare team.
Can I get a reference letter?
In most cases a letter of reference can be given to the volunteer upon request (if you showed up on time, acted professionally, and reliably completed your duties).
Can volunteering help me get a job with OPACC?
There is no guarantee that volunteering will lead to paid employment; however, volunteering can help you increase your professional network, build skills and add to your resume – to name a few of the many benefits. There have been cases where our long-term volunteers have been given priority consideration when applying to a position with OPACC.
Got all your questions answered and ready to begin? Please start by filling out the Volunteer application below and we'll get back to you with more information. We thank you for your time and interest!