29 Mar

Volunteering in Niagara

Volunteering is a great way to give back to your community and make a difference.   You not only help others but you meet people and learn new things. Volunteering can bring social connection and just make you feel good. There are a tremendous amount of options in Niagara to choose from. If you are handy or have a special interest or talent such as photography or cooking there are opportunities to suit. Time commitments vary from long term to one time events.

Long Term Volunteering

If you want a regular commitment, then volunteering for an organization is the way to go.  It might mean helping out at a soup kitchen or driving someone to their cancer treatment. In Niagara, In Communities helps people find the right volunteer activity for them. their database is full of volunteer opportunities.

A quick search shows that they need help in the Habitat for Humanity, ReStore in the area of customer service.  This job means helping with merchandise pick ups, assembling merchandise and loading and unloading merchandise.

The Salvation Army needs people to help with their Community Response food truck in St Catharines. Volunteers help prepare and serve meals in the community on the truck.  This requires a commitment of one or two Saturdays per week.

For people who are interested in our history there are multiple opportunities at the St Catharines Museum and Welland Canal Centre. They are looking for a Museum Cataloguer for the Photographic Collection, Museum Archive Assistant and Museum Artificat Photographer.  

Medium to Short Term

These programs may be seasonal such as the Summer Literacy Volunteer for the SLAM program.  Volunteers for this program  assist in the delivery of a hands on literacy and social skills program for the Learning Disabilities Association of Niagara Region’s summer program for children or youth with learning difficulties and/or ADHD.

The Canadian Red Cross is looking for volunteer drivers to help drive seniors to and from appointments around the Niagara region.

Event Volunteering

Event Volunteers are the people that make these big fundraising events possible.  This type of volunteering means putting in a number of hours over a short period of time.  For those of you with a fairly packed schedule and limited time resources this is a great way to get involved without the ongoing time commitment.  After an event you may even find yourself signing up again next year because you enjoyed it so much!

This year they are looking for volunteers for The Ride To Conquer Cancer. This event runs  the weekend of June 9-11, 2017. Volunteers are the backbone to this event and help support riders during their 200 km two day cycling ride.

Looking for  bit of fun that is food and wine related?  Volunteer for i4c the International Cool Climate Chardonnay Celebration. July 21-23, 2017 this event needs a small army of volunteers, with many of them returning year after year.

Another opportunity is with Niagara Wine Festival who holds a number of events throughout the year with Tailgate in the summer, Niagara Wine Festival in the fall and Icewine Festival in the winter.

The Big Move Cancer Ride is on September 10th this year and has to date raised 3 million dollars for the Walker Family Cancer Centre.  On event day they need help with things such as set up, registration, hospitality and road marshaling.

So take a look and find something that interests you and spend a bit of time getting to know your community and helping it grow.


13 Mar

Take time to nurture your soul!

When our soul is tired no amount of sleep will fix it.  It is important to make your happiness and wellness a priority.

5 Things you can do to feed your soul.


Take a breather, or rest for a couple of hours one afternoon when the world feels like it is getting away on you.  We can find creativity and energy when we allow ourselves time to rest and regenerate.  Our mind can get overloaded with day to day things and it is pretty challenging to find room for more.  So curl up on the couch with a good book or just let yourself be with some calming music and a cup of chai.  Do whatever it is that you enjoy, let yourself be still if that is what you need or go for a walk and feel the energy of nature. Choose your way to replenish.


Be with the people who make you happy.  Make time to see that friend that you enjoy spending time with and that makes you smile.  Humans need social connection and when our soul is tired this is one of the first things to go.  It doesn’t have to be a full out social event but rather a chance to talk and laugh together.  Sometimes sharing helps us to put things into perspective.


Laughter really is great medicine.  According to Gaiam it helps lower blood pressure and stress hormones but it boosts t cells.  Laughter also brings with it a sense of wellbeing.  So turn on that old episode of I Love Lucy and find a bit of inner joy.


Grey’s Anatomy fans know that when the going gets tough Meredith has been known to encourage her friends to “dance it out.”  A quick Google search tells us that on campuses across North America dancing to relieve stress is effective and fun.  This strategy to feed your soul can be done with others or in the privacy of your own space.  Pop in those ear buds and give it a try.  We recommend creating a “dance it out” playlist which you can have with you at all times because you never know when the mood might strike.

Be Kind

Doing something kind for others feels good.  In an article by tiny buddha they remind us that “being kind to others is being kind to yourself.”  This isn’t always easy but being positive and kind usually makes it more difficult for others to respond in a negative manner.  Setting your intention to be kind for the day can bring some pleasantly unexpected results.


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