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Civic Impact

Drink Beer, Do Good: Volunteer Toronto crafts a new approach to volunteering

It’s a rare opportunity to both drink beer and do good at the same time, but Volunteer Toronto’s Craft Your Change event on September 24 is offering a chance to do exactly that. From 7 PM to 10 PM, they’ll be taking over the Loose Moose on Front Street for a volunteer recruitment and connection event that aims to arm young professionals with a pint of craft beer and a lot more information about Toronto’s non-profit organizations.

Camara Chambers, Volunteer Toronto’s Director of Community Engagement, explains: “we ask each of the non-profits to come up and do a one-minute pitch on who they are, why why’re amazing, and why people would want to work with with them.” From there, event attendees—Chambers is expecting about 150 of them—can approach the non-profits directly. “We handpicked them from a network of about 600 organizations across the city, including lots of grassroots organizations. There’s a good good cross-section of the non-profit community—youth, environmental issues, animals—to ensure that anyone who comes can find an organization they’re passionate about.” Organizations will include the Annex Cat Rescue, Women in Toronto Politics, and Maternal Goddess, among others. The event is timed to coincide with Toronto Beer Week, and the Loose Moose was chosen for its wide array of craft beers.

Craft Your Change takes a different approach to traditional volunteer recruitment. “We had been looking to work more with the young professional demographic in Toronto. We’re aware of the increasing switch in how people volunteer. People want something back, whether it’s new skills, meeting new people, building their resume.” A study from Volunteer Canada also found that more and more people are looking to branch out from the skills they do as part of their daily jobs, and Volunteer Toronto wants to foster that. When choosing which organizations to include, Chambers says, “We asked if they’re open to having a conversation and allowing the volunteers to decide how to they want to give back.”

Volunteer Toronto hopes that everyone who comes out to Craft Your Change find an opportunity that they connect with. “Essentially, we would like all of our attendees to volunteer in some way shape or form before the next event. We hope that at, some point, they all get the opportunity to give back to the non-profit community.”
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