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Volunteering in Collingwood & Blue Mountain

Posted by Sherry Rioux on February 27, 2018

One of the many things that attracts people to the Collingwood and Blue Mountains area is the wealth of local resources we are lucky enough to have.  Many of the organizations and services we rely on are staffed at least in part by volunteers.  Whether you’re an active retiree with time to dedicate to a favourite cause, a high school student looking to accumulate your 40 hours before graduation or somebody who just believes in giving back, there are many wonderful volunteer opportunities in our community that would be happy to have your support!  Take a look at this list of suggestions and see if there’s one that speaks to you!

Beaver Valley Outreach

New offices open on or around Easter 2018 at
54 King St.
Thornbury, ON N0H 2P0

Beaver Valley Outreach is a charitable, community-based organization of staff and over 150 volunteers that provides programs and services to enhance the social, economic and environmental well-being of people in our community.

Whether you’re interested in playing a large role such as sitting on the Board of Directors or something smaller like sorting clothing, organizing the Treasure Shop or joining the Breakfast Club to provide a morning meal to students at Beaver Valley Community School, there’s a place for you at BVO.  Events such as the annual auction, the Thanksgiving Community Dinner, Eastereggstravaganza and Christmas hampers would not be possible without volunteers!

Think BVO is a good fit for you?  Here’s how you can get involved:

Read the BVO Volunteer Resource Kit
Questions?  Contact our Volunteer Coordinator at
Connect with BVO on Facebook 

Big Brother Big Sisters of the Georgian Triangle

74 Hume Street
Collingwood, ON L9Y 1V4

Serving the Blue Mountains, Clearview, Meaford, Collingwood and Wasaga Beach, this organization is dedicated to helping children realize their potential by matching them up with ‘Bigs’ who can really make a difference in their young lives.  Mentors give their time in a way that best suits their lifestyle, spending anywhere from three hours a month to three hours a month with a “Little”. There are a variety of programs needing volunteers ranging from one on one and group recreational activities to in-school mentoring of elementary children, staffing a homework club and even a program especially designed for volunteer couples.  Big Brothers Big Sisters also offers opportunities for corporate sponsorship, personal donations and involvement in many fundraising events.

Volunteer Big Brothers or Big Sisters must be at least 18 years old, complete and information form and interview, provide 3 personal references and a police background check.

Bowl For Kids 2018:  Join the most important BBBS fundraising event of the year where every dollar raised helps match local children with a mentor.   It’s easy: gather a team of at least 4, register online at , book a lane time (call 705-445-2330), collect pledges and show up ready to bowl and have fun!  See for details and available lane times.

Follow BBBS on Facebook at and on Twitter

Breaking Down Barriers – Independent Living Resource Centre

243 Ste. Marie Street
Collingwood   L9Y 3K5
705-445-1543 (*301)
Toll free at 1-800-843-6943

Breaking Down Barriers provides support, services and programs to enhance the lives of people living with disabilities. Active as a resource centre since 1985, BDB serves individuals with a wide range of needs throughout Southern Georgian Bay and allows them to live independently.

Volunteer opportunities include acting as a companion for adults with a disability, fundraisers, co-ordinating events, administrative assistance, chaperoning field trips, and facilitating workshops.  Looking to have a bit more impact?  There are volunteer positions on each Committee and the Board of Directors is run by volunteers.

The minimum age for volunteering with BDB is 16. Volunteers who work with consumers, consumer information, or cash must be 19 or older.  Training and support will be provided.  All volunteers must complete an application, provide references, attend an interview and complete an orientation session and may also need to obtain a criminal reference check, drivers’ abstract, etc depending on the position applied for.
Visit BDB on Facebook

Bruce Trail Conservancy

‘Volunteer and be part of the Bruce Trail’

The Bruce Trail is the oldest and longest marked footpath in Canada, running along the Escarpment from Niagara to Tobermory with 890km of main trail and over 400 km of associated side trails.  Imagine how many volunteers it takes to help protect and preserve this UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve!

This commitment requires 4 – 16 hours per month in a variety of opportunities from the Board Room to the trail. The Blue Mountain Club is presently seeking volunteers to be Hike Leaders, Land Stewards, Trail Captains, Trail Maintenance Crews as well as a Director at Large. Check out the volunteer positions the Conservancy and Corporate Volunteer Program
Apply for all volunteer positions online at
1-800-665-HIKE (4453)

Collingwood General & Marine Hospital

459 Hume Street,
Collingwood, ON L9Y 1W9

When you walk through the front doors of the Collingwood Hospital, the first people you’ll meet are volunteers waiting to say hello and help you make your way through the building. Like most hospitals, CGMH offers a variety of rewarding and challenging volunteer positions. Depending on the amount of time you’re able to commit, you could find yourself helping with anything from Patient Care to Rehabilitation, working in the Gift Shop or Pet Care, or manning the Ambulatory Care desk or Information Desk.

Volunteers must be 16 years of age or older, attend an interview, provide 2 references, pass a physical exam and have up to date immunizations,  Police checks are required for all volunteers 18 years and over.  Individuals must be willing to work a minimum of one, four hour shift per week. The hospital provides training, garments and parking passes. Visit to see which role suits your talents.

Follow them on facebook at and find them on Twitter at


Elephant Thoughts

10138 Hwy 26
Collingwood, ON

With the goal of “making sure every child in Canada and across the world receives an exceptional, inspired education despite the geographic and economic barriers they face”, Elephant Thoughts set up shop in Collingwood in 2002.  The focus on young learners makes Elephant Thoughts an ideal spot to get kids interested in volunteering by taking on responsibilities such as taking care of the animals in the store after school.

Volunteers also run the Elephant Thoughts educational store and help with workshops and events, office administration and fundraising.  Interested?  Contact them at
Follow them on Facebook and Twitter

Environment Network

New location:  10138 Hwy 26
Collingwood   L9Y 3Z2

“The Environment Network is a non profit organization working with communities, the public, and all levels of government to ensure a healthy and sustainable environment which includes the natural, physical, social, economic and cultural environments.”

Very active in our community, EN runs programmes such as Active, Safe Routes to School, Eco Enterprise, Share the Road, Depave, The CREW, H.E.L.P., Girlfriends, Summer Day Camp, Home Weatherization Retrofit and many more. EN also owns and operates a Shoppe offering unique products that are anti-sweatshop, anti-corporate hangouts and anti-pollution while promoting fair wages, sustainable farming, and organic and green practices.

The Environment Network has an ongoing need for volunteers to work in a variety of roles including working at the shoppe, running after school programs, manning public outreach booths, helping at events, distributing brochures and educational info and more.  Follow them on Twitter

Georgian Triangle Housing Resource Centre

115 Hurontario Street, Suite 105,
Collingwood, ON L9Y 2L9

January 2001 marked the opening of the doors of this not for profit, charitable agency which helps people secure a home and is almost entirely funded through donations and grants.

Volunteers are a crucial part of fulfilling this mandate, whether it’s by fundraising and running special events, completing administrative, computer or clerical work, or by making presentations and participating in public speaking.  If you’re looking for a way to help others, get involved in your community on a deeper level, get to know others in your community or develop some skills, the Housing Resource Center has many areas of interest that could work for you. Volunteers are always needed!
Follow them on Facebook and Twitter

Georgian Triangle Humane Society

549 Tenth Line,
Collingwood, ON L9Y 0W1

The Georgian Triangle Humane Society is dedicated to helping animals in need throughout  the communities of Wasaga Beach, Stayner, Creemore, Collingwood, The Blue Mountains, Thornbury, Clarksburg and beyond, if necessary. With a focus on caring for abused, neglected, and abandoned animals, building awareness of animal welfare rights and promoting responsible pet ownership, there are countless ways for you to help at GTHS.

For a detailed description of volunteer positions at GTHS, visit their web site, .

Training is provided for positions ranging from Dog or Cat Care Technician to Adoption Assistant, Food Fairy to Shelter Aide and many more.  If driving is your forte there is a need for Community Transporters who do everything from dropping off promo materials and coin box pickups to animal transport and visiting business and veterinary partners on a weekly basis. There is also often fundraising held in the area and volunteers are needed to plan and run events.  For more information about available volunteer positions, the application process, Student Hours, Co-Op Placements and Community Service programs, visit

Email your completed application to  or drop it off at the shelter.  Please indicate which positions you are interested in.
Follow GTHS on Facebook and Twitter 

Treasures Tails GTHS

186 Hurontario Street

Treasures Tails retail store located in downtown Collingwood belongs to The Georgian Triangle Humane Society. The store is operated and staffed entirely by volunteers and features furniture, china, books, antiques and household items.  All proceeds go directly to the care of the animals.  Donations are welcomed but please contact the store to arrange an appointment.  


Habitat for Humanity South Georgian Bay

Phone: 705-446-954 

Looking for a great way to give back to your community while learning new skills, meeting new people and having fun?  Consider volunteering Habitat for Humanity.

At Habitat, help from volunteers is crucial to realizing the mission of contributing to a world where everyone has a decent place to live. Donate your time and skills to helpbuild a better tomorrow for deserving families while breaking the cycle of poverty for generations to come.

Know your way around a tool shed?  Volunteers with some construction knowledge or expertise are always needed, as are those with CPR/First Aid certification but anyone can help!  If you are at least 16 years old, can lift 30 pounds (about 14 kilograms) or more, and know how to use basic tools (hammers, screw drivers, pry bars), are willing to chip in to carry out various construction tasks at a build site and heed guidance from skilled professionals, Habitat For Humanity could use your help.  

Not too handy with a saw or hammer but still want to help the cause?  Consider joining the team at the Re-Store, 155 Sanford Fleming Drive.  Staff at the ReStore check donated items and complete any necessary repairs, set up displays and provide customer service.  

For more information about volunteering with Habitat For Humanity, visit:


Hospice Georgian Triangle

240 Erie Street,
Collingwood, ON L9Y 0X8

HGT provide trained volunteer care and support to individuals in the final stages of life, to their families and to bereaved members of the community. Volunteers help ensure that people are not alone while living through these difficult times.  HGT recruits and trains volunteers in the Visiting Volunteer program which enables volunteers to provide non-medical support such as companionship and reading, as well as transportation and respite for primary caregivers.

Twice a year HGT sponsors a 30 hour training course for those interested in becoming volunteers.  Training is also provided for those interested in Bereavement Support.  Other volunteer roles include administrative activities, fundraising, etc.

Follow Hospice on Facebook and Twitter 


My Friend’s House


My Friend’s House offers a safe environment and support for women and children who are escaping abusive situations.  Offering four major programmes, My Friend’s House provides a 24 hour Crisis Line, Emergency Shelter, Outreach and Transition services as well as One on One Support for children exposed to violence.  Volunteers can help in a number of ways, whether its by buying and delivering groceries, assisting with cleaning and minor repairs to the shelter, manning special events or fundraising campaigns, working in Community and Public Education and Outreach or providing childcare.

This is a valuable agency that is well worth supporting.  Looking for a unique way to offer your support?  My Friend’s House is like your own home, often needing repairs and maintenance.  If you are licensed in a trade, please consider donating your time and skills.  To find out more about volunteering your time, email  or download and complete an application from their website.

Salvation Army

162 Ste. Marie Street,
Collingwood, ON L9Y 3K2

Familiar to most of us, the Salvation Army is visible in many forms in Collingwood.  The Food Bank, the Thrift Store and the Community Church are all located in the downtown core and all provide the opportunity for a great variety of volunteer opportunities that can help you to develop your skills and work experience, maybe you will even make a new friend.

Anyone can volunteer!  Fill out a form and then work with the coordinator to find the perfect position.  Whether you’re ringing the bells at Christmas Kettles, sorting clothing at the Thrift store, lending a hand at the Food Bank, assisting seniors, packing food hampers, working with emergency disaster relief or even just answering telephones, it’s easy to have a positive impact on your community.  There are also opportunities for large groups or corporations to contribute by supplying much needed goods (backpacks or winter coats) or by working together as a team at special events or a Salvation Army camp ground.

Student volunteers, please note:  while all students may apply, preference will be given to those who are able to commit to maintaining a regular schedule of volunteer hours (ex: 2 hours/week for 10 weeks).  

Ready to join the team?  Complete an online application and the Salvation Army will contact you with next steps.

Before submitting an application, the Salvation Army recommends everyone read the Volunteer FAQs

Follow the Salvation Army on Facebook and Twitter 

YMCA of Simcoe Muskoka

200 Hume Street,
Collingwood, ON L9Y 4E8

A part of local communities for 160 years, the YMCA “is dedicated to the growth of all persons in spirit, mind and body, and to their sense of belonging to each other and the global community”. Collingwood has a thriving “Y” and offers volunteer opportunities for anyone 12 years of age and older. There are four main areas of interest; Child and Youth Aquatics, Housekeeping and Maintenance, Adult Fitness and Recreation and Administrative work.

To become a volunteer at “the Y”, fill out a Volunteer Application and drop it off at your local YMCA.

Follow them on Facebook and Twitter provides an online database to help you find volunteer opportunities in your community.  Use it to search for opportunities that suit your location, skills and schedule, browse volunteer opportunities for a specific organization or keep an eye out for  new volunteer opportunities.

For more information about volunteering and volunteerism, email or dial 2-1-1 to speak with an information specialist.

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