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International Volunteer Day

International Volunteer Day

Celebrated annually on Dec 5th, International Volunteer Day offers an opportunity for voluntary organizations and individual volunteers to promote volunteerism, encourage governments to support volunteer efforts, and recognize volunteer contributions to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at local, national and international levels.

This year’s theme for International Volunteer Day is solidary through volunteering. With rising global inequalities, comes the need to work together in solidarity to address the sector’s challenges.

“Volunteering is where compassion meets solidarity. Both share the same root values – supporting each other from a position of trust, humility, respect and equality. For the future of our planet, we must act together and we must act now. This is not an era to stand alone but together, as one, in solidarity with each other.” –

Prior to the pandemic, close to half of all Canadians volunteered billions of hours of unpaid work to serve their communities. With non-profit organizations relying heavily on volunteers, the COVID-19 pandemic has been particularly hard on the sector.

Edmonton’s non-profit sector is no exception, pandemic-related restrictions severely disrupted the system of volunteer engagement causing major recruitment challenges. When combined with increased demand for services and cuts to volunteerism budgets, rising inequality, and shifting volunteer roles, Edmonton’s volunteerism landscape has been permanently altered.

There is, however, a silver lining. The changing landscape shone a spotlight on culture and diversity in volunteerism which has presented non-profit organizations with an opportunity to acknowledge the colonial systems hidden in many Canadian volunteer programs, and take the first step toward transformation. Thanks to the voluntary organizations, volunteer managers and those who are working to decolonize their volunteer programs and facilities, many are beginning to ask how they can reduce barriers to volunteering, participation and inclusion for those who have been traditionally left out.

To learn more about ECVO’s workshop for new volunteers visit

If you are looking for Volunteer opportunities or want to post a volunteer opportunity check out

Enter our draw and win one of two Starbucks gift cards!

Answer the question “We need volunteers because…” and be entered into our random draw. To enter, visit You must be located in Edmonton and region to enter. Draw closes December 12, 2022.