Kids Help Phone
As an Ecclesiastical Business Intern, I had the opportunity to spend a month volunteering at Kids Help Phone, a counseling, referral and information service developed specifically to provide young people with a lifeline to professional help. Available by telephone or online — 24/7, 365 days a year — Kids Help Phone provides support to young people who are experiencing very difficult problems and challenges. For example, bullying, trouble at home or at school, drugs, and suicidal thoughts.
During my time at Kids Help Phone, I was responsible for revising, updating and improving the “volunteer training module” for the organization’s upcoming “Walk So Kids Can Talk” fundraising event. This fundraiser, their largest event of year, is a 5K walk supported by thousands of kids, adults, families, schools, community organizations, and businesses across Canada.
My time at Kids Help Phone was both inspiring and motivating. I worked with some amazing people, people who do so much good without any government funding, relying solely on sponsorship and donations. I left feeling enormously proud to work for a company that is a national corporate sponsor of this incredible organization … and proud to have been given the opportunity to give back.
Heart & Stroke Foundation
The concept of ‘giving back’ is integral to Ecclesiastical’s Business Intern Program. As an intern, each of us has the opportunity to lend our skills and support to a registered charity or non-profit organization. In February of 2014, I was privileged to spend five weeks working with the Heart & Stroke Foundation. During my placement, I worked closely with the organization’s Community Engagement Manager. Our goal was to create greater awareness and raise funds through community events and fundraisers. My responsibilities included volunteer recruitment and training, being a lead coordinator for fundraising events and building the volunteer database.
The work was both challenging and exciting. I quickly learned that reaching out and sharing heart-health information is vital to the wellbeing of our communities. I also learned about the importance of volunteers and how their efforts are critical to a non-profit’s success. Meeting heart and stroke survivors who become volunteers themselves was especially gratifying. I was honoured to join the team of volunteers.
The Heart & Stroke Foundation “aims to build healthier hearts and minds across Canada by bringing life-saving knowledge to the communities we serve, through our local area offices and the healthcare providers we support with education and resources.”
For more information about the Heart & Stroke Foundation and how you can make a difference, visit www.heartandstroke.com
Anglican Diocese of Toronto
At the end of 2009 I had the opportunity to volunteer at the Anglican Diocese of Toronto. With over 200 congregations, the Toronto Diocese is the largest of the 30 diocese in the Anglican Church of Canada. The Diocese is home to many culturally diverse and language-based congregations with parishioners who have immigrated to Toronto from the countries around the globe. The role of the diocese is to bring people together who are passionate about God and who seek to help others. The overall vision is to embrace diversity by encouraging culture and hospitality towards all ages and backgrounds. In so doing, the diocese can focus on its key goals which relate to child poverty, homelessness and HIV/AIDS.
My role at the Toronto Diocese was to assist with an urgent administrative project. The project had a large component that related directly to insurance, so I was able to bring the knowledge and expertise I gained as an Ecclesiastical Business Intern to the task.
The atmosphere at the Diocese of Toronto is much like being a part of a “large family”. The employees are very friendly and accommodating. It is evident that they are also very committed and passionate about the work that they do. I am very grateful for the short time I spent working with the diocese. For more information, visit their web site www.toronto.anglican.ca
Canadian Council of Churches
At the beginning of 2009, I had the opportunity as part of my Internship at Ecclesiastical to volunteer at the Canadian Council of Churches (CCC) in Toronto. The CCC represents a broad range of religious organizations and operates as a platform in which everyone’s voice matters and all people are equal. Currently, the CCC is in the process of organizing and hosting the 6th Annual World Interfaith Religious Leaders Summit in Winnipeg MB which will bring together senior religious leaders primarily from the G8 nations and Africa.
The goal of the Summit is to have the G8 fulfil their commitments to the world’s most poor and vulnerable eg. eradicating extreme poverty and hunger, universal education, promoting gender equality, reducing child mortality rates, helping with the fight against HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases, and helping ensure environmental sustainability. The leaders will work together to create a detailed statement, which will be sent to the 2010 G8 Summit a few days later.
My role at the CCC was to assist in developing an event plan ranging from timelines, developing applications, databases, registration forms and checklists that would aide in coordinating and planning the summit.
I developed a great appreciation for the work of the CCC and its contribution to various faith organizations throughout Canada and the world. Being part of such a committed group of people who work towards shaping and changing the world has been a very rewarding and humbling experience. This opportunity allowed me to work on projects that were truly “one of a kind” and provided me with a chance to “step out of the box” and use the skill sets developed during my other rotations at Ecclesiastical.
Yonge Street Mission
For well over a century, the Yonge Street Mission (YSM) has reached out to help Torontonians living in poverty — families, seniors, socially isolated adults, homeless street youth and children. With a dedicated staff off some 100 professionals and over 3,000 volunteers, YSM offers a wide variety of services and programs. These include food bank and meal programs, employment and computer training, school readiness programs, counseling, daycare, tutoring and a post secondary scholarship fund.
As an Ecclesiastical Business Intern, my task at YSM was to research the various volunteer roles and analyze the potential risks present in these roles. The project allowed me to draw upon the knowledge I gained from the Business Intern Program in order to develop a comprehensive risk management strategy for YSM’s volunteers. During the five weeks I spent at YSM I was also privileged to attend numerous programs and even participate in some. The staff and volunteers at YSM made me feel right at home and an integral part of their team. It is comforting to know that there are organizations like YSM — organizations that make a positive difference in the lives of people in need, every single day. I am proud to be part of a company that considers social responsibility to be a core value.
For more information on how you can volunteer with Yonge Street Mission please visit their website at www.ysm.ca.