Myth: “Volunteering is just working for free. I need money.”
Volunteering is an investment in yourself and your community. You are not “paid” in dollars but the gains in other ways are priceless.
- Valuable work experience.
- Obtaining a Canadian reference
- Learning or practicing a new skill
- New friendships or opportunities
Myth: “Volunteering takes too much time. I don’t have any spare time.”
Volunteer positions vary. There is always something that will work! Volunteer as a family, volunteer at your child’s school or at an event you were planning to attend anyway.
Myth: “I have to commit long-term.”
Not necessarily, not all volunteer opportunities need a long term commitment.
Myth: “I don’t have enough English to volunteer."
There is always something a newcomer can do. And, it is a great way to practice English and learn about Canadian culture.
Myth: “People in my country never volunteer. People in my culture won’t understand why I would do this!”
The opposite is true in Canada. Most Canadians either volunteer or have volunteered at some point in their lives because they are very aware of the benefits. In Canada, volunteering is well respected and in some cases even expected. Some schools and other post-secondary programs build volunteering into their programs as do some employers.
Myth: “Volunteering or mentoring newcomers will be too hard because of the language barrier and cultural differences.”
Newcomers really appreciate when community members help them adjust to a new country and a new life. The language barrier is temporary, but the friendships made can last a lifetime.