Places to volunteer in the neighbourhood

Danforth East Community AssociationAre you looking to make a difference in our neighbourhood? Do you have time on your hands? Well, you’ve come to the right place.

Below is a list of a few places in DECA’s neighbourhood that do wonderful work and need your help. The list is by no means exhaustive. If you know of another program that should be included, please email us.


This is a community centre inside a school, located near Queen and Greenwood, that offers services for babies to seniors. For more information, contact May Seto the program director, at 416-461-8143 or
Volunteers are needed in the following areas:
• Bingo caller, Friday afternoons 1.15 to 3.15
• After-school programs, 3 to 6 pm every day
• Helping with young kids, by organizing a clothing/toy exchange, reading to children, helping at a craft table on Tuesday to Fridays, year-round.
• Teen programs – play basketball and other games in the gym, Tuesday evenings starting October
• Special events: help plan All Candidates Meeting (Oct.6), Pasta Fest (Nov. 7), Family Dance (Feb. 6), Seniors Wellness Fair (March 16) and more.
• Join the Revenue Generation Committee or Community Integration Committee to help guide fundraising plans and foster program participation

A community centre on Main St, just south of Gerrard. The centre’s motto is “helping people help themselves.” It offers free tax clinics, seniors nights, and summer camps for kids, among other things.
The centre’s biggest event is “Share A Christmas,” where volunteers delivers baskets of food and presents to families in need over four days. This is the main event where the centre needs volunteer help – packing baskets, delivering food, or “adopting a family.” For more information, go here:
Or Contact Nancy Culver, the centre’s special events and volunteer coordinator at 416-691-1113

This is a large social service agency that was born in East Toronto, offering programs for low-income people, seniors and new immigrants, among others. Its programs run with the help of more than 600 volunteers.
To sign up, contact Tsvetelina Trifonova, the volunteer coordinator, at 416-691-7407 ext. 236,
Volunteers are needed in the following areas:
• Meals on Wheels drivers, who will deliver hot and nutritious meals to homebound seniors and people with disabilities in our neighbourhood, once a week , from 10.30 to 12.30. You need a car, valid insurance and a valid licence
• Meals on Wheels runners, who deliver the meals by foot and accept payments from clients once a week, from 10.30 to 12.30
• Friendly visitors to seniors, once a week, 6 month commitment preferred
• After School Homework Club: Help once a week, from 4 to 6 pm, with children and youth.
• Computer Support: one two-hour shift per week
• Conversation Circle – Work with newcomers, on Tues or Thursday, 12.30 to 2 pm.
• Food Preparation Volunteer to prepare food for various programs.

A shelter for homeless families and abused women in East Toronto. It Provides emergency housing and support at two locations to more than 500 families in our neighbourhood a year.
Bev Webb is the volunteer coordinator, 416-915-5671 ext. 235, Volunteers are needed in the shelter food bank.

Most of our local schools offer breakfast/snack/lunch programs for hungry children. While these are subsidized, they run mainly off the sweat of volunteers.

Earl Haig Public School,at 15 Earl Haig Ave. The school offers a healthy snack to all kindergarten students plus a warm nutritious lunch to all students. Parents are asked to give donations to the program, but it still “hangs on by a thread every year.” The program needs volunteers — weekly, monthly or simply people willing to help in emergencies — who can help prepare and serve lunch for 1.5 hours. Contact

Gledhill Public School, at 2 Gledhill Ave, has offered kids a breakfast club for 8 years now. Five days a week, volunteers arrive at 7.30 to prep, cook and serve nutritious breakfasts to any student who wants one. The program also needs help with weekly shopping, serving and cleaning. Vulnerable sector police check is required. The program also needs help with it’s twice annual fundraising breakfast. Contact Karen Ingham,

Saint Brigid Catholic School, at 50 Woodmount Av, offers a nutritious snack to all 560 kids every day. The program needs volunteers to prepare the food, bag it and deliver it to the classrooms, in shifts (meaning you can volunteer for just an hour or more) from 8.30 to 2 pm. Contact Larisa Van Loon, at

Our community hospital, where many of our babies were born and where we are rushed to in emergencies. It runs with the help of more than 500 volunteers in 40 different areas. There are information sessions in September and April. You can also apply online – look for the volunteer tab. You are expected to make a one-year commitment, provide two references, have TB testing and criminal record search (paid for by the hospital). For more information, contact the volunteer services, at 416-469-6047.

Some of the volunteer needs include:
• Music therapy – volunteers with musical talent visit patients once a week, or play in the oncology waiting room, to provide musical relaxation.
• Front desk – greet people arriving, give them directions once a week for 2-3 hours
• Patient visits
• Help in the general store.

This is a large social service agency, mostly funded by the government, that has 23 locations throughout east Toronto. It does everything from help people find affordable housing, run childcare programs, lead newcomer settlement and youth employment. Many of these programs run off volunteer energy – so their needs are big.
They require a Vulnerable Sector screening – but will cover your costs. If you are interested, contact Latoya Dwyer, 416-645-6000 ext. 1881 or

WoodGreen is looking for:
• Meals on Wheels drivers, who will deliver hot and nutritious meals to homebound seniors and people with disabilities in our neighbourhood, once a week for 2 hours. You need a car and valid licence
• Medical Escorts for seniors, to help them reach their medical appointments and back home. No car required.
• Friendly visits to isolated seniors – one hour a week to provide much-needed companionship and support. (They are in desperate need of French speakers)
• Adult program – assist in day programs for disabled participates
• Intergeneration Teaching & Learning Program – Help connect older adults with young children through discussions, hobbies, creative activities. This takes place inside the school. You need to be available once a week, from 12.50 to 1.30 pm.