Volunteers Impact Everyone


Photo © Courtesy of Volunteer Toronto

004CA Volunteer Toronto

Whether you realize it or not, a volunteer has impacted your life. They are the dedicated people behind sports, arts, and community events. They’re active in almost every social service we rely on.

Volunteers deliver thousands of meals to isolated seniors every day. They support hospitals, health charities, newcomer settlements, environmental initiatives, and everything in between. If you look for a volunteer, you will find millions uplifting and supporting our society. Each volunteer is a thread in the tapestry we call Toronto, Canada—our home.

Week after week, stories continue to pop up about volunteers helping their communities during the pandemic or fighting for human rights, some stepping up for the first time, others with a legacy of support. They are mask sewers, volunteer drivers, protest organizers, online advocates, connection-builders and neighbours helping neighbours.

Canada’s largest volunteer centre, Volunteer Toronto, sees the contributions of volunteers every day. This December 5th, 2021, on International Volunteer Day, six volunteers were recognized with Legacy Awards for their exceptional commitment to making Toronto a better place to live for everyone. It’s time we see and celebrate their incredible efforts as volunteers.

Take Susel Munoz, for example, a dedicated advocate for 16+ years. She is the founder and director of HAACO Ontario, a 100% volunteer-powered initiative. The organization provides community support and raises awareness on the challenges of parenting autistic and other neurodiverse children. Susel, along with HAACO, has been instrumental in raising awareness about the needs of the community and how institutional racism impacts access to services and opportunities. Through advocacy, she has educated the public, organizations and governments. Her commitment to creating safe spaces for autism families is paramount as social support reduces a sense of stigma and isolation.

How about Kaitlin Monkman? She’s one of the thousands of Volunteer Drivers, the most in need role in Toronto. Kaitlin has volunteered tirelessly with Community Connect Toronto, an Indigenous-led non-profit providing emergency food support to those disproportionately affected by COVID-19. Every evening after her full-time job, Kaitlin delivers emergency food hampers and shuttles food to community fridges as a volunteer. Kaitlin has taken on approximately 40 percent of deliveries, providing essentials to an astounding 7,200 people in need since March 2020.

Susel and Kaitlin are just two examples of the millions that uplift the community. The landscape of volunteerism is evolving and the effectiveness of mutual aid, grassroots organizing, and digital community engagement are not specific to today. This International Volunteer Day, take a moment to thank them—and any volunteer in your life—for giving back. We all need volunteers, whether we realize it or not.

Meet the six 2021 Legacy Award recipients and get involved at volunteertoronto.ca

Get your free copy of Global Heroes, jam-packed with positive news, straight in your inbox.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Volunteer Toronto is Canada’s largest volunteer centre with over 40 years of experience connecting volunteers to the organizations that need them.


Subscribe to our Newsletter and Access all issues of Global Heroes News straight in your inbox. 100% free, no purchase necessary, for life. Uplifting stories, highlighting the inspirational efforts of everyday people, celebrities, and organizations, who are diligently working together towards practical solutions to global problems.