The new Atkinson Community Engaging in Service (ACES) Web site offers a host of interesting volunteer opportunities for Atkinson students. The site, which was officially launched yesterday as part of Atkinson Welcome Days, Sept. 6-8, is hosted by the Student & Alumni Relations Unit (STARS) of the Atkinson Faculty of Liberal & Professional Studies.
Atkinson students interested in volunteering can now browse the ACES Web site to learn more about volunteer opportunities that are available locally, nationally and internationally. The site also includes a section devoted to virtual volunteering. Offering easy access to Ontario, national and international volunteer directories, the site also provides important information for students on how to get started as a volunteer. Included on the ACES Web site are links to a variety of agencies including the United Way of Greater Toronto, the United Nations Online Volunteer Web site and Charity Village.
Often described as the glue that holds society together, volunteering plays a unique role in Canadian society. And, while volunteerism provides volunteers themselves with a great feeling of satisfaction, it can also address unmet needs in the community and the organization of services to meet them.
“We are pleased to provide our students with valuable resources and information on volunteerism, in an effort to enhance and promote the spirit of civic engagement and community service among Atkinson community members,” said Martha Rogers, Atkinson’s associate dean and master.
To ensure that ACES has the most current information on volunteering, Atkinson recently became a member of the organizations Volunteer Toronto and Volunteer Canada.
Shirley Gossack, special projects manager in the STARS Unit, oversees the ACES Web site. Gossak said that one of the newest and most exciting initiatives to come from the volunteer sector is virtual volunteering. “Through online volunteer opportunities, individuals who do not have the time or resources to commit to onsite assignments are still able to make a significant difference in the lives of people all over the world,” noted Gossack.
Virtual volunteering can include assignments such as:
- conducting research on an assigned topic,
- creating an online community,
- translating Web sites,
- editing or drafting online content,
- designing an agency’s newsletter or brochure,
- online mentorship and tutoring to individuals of all ages and interests.