Volunteer opportunities


Thank you for your interest in volunteering with us!

Whether you have one hour, one day, or more time to give, there’s a way to have a positive impact on your community, your neighbourhood or even just a neighbour! Ways of volunteering and giving back are changing. Let us show you how! 

Safety measures in place to protect volunteers

Protecting the health and safety of our volunteers, staff and our community is our highest priority.  The City is moving cautiously to re-open facilities and resume valued programs and services. Safety measures will be put in place based on what is appropriate for each volunteer role and facility/location.  Safety training will be provided to all volunteers, and personal protection equipment will be provided when required so volunteers can work safely.  Applicants will have the opportunity to discuss safety measures with the volunteer placement supervisor as part of the intake process.       

Current volunteer opportunities

Outdoor winter rink volunteer
  • Assist with the volunteer rink coordinator in making and maintaining neighbourhood winter rink (snow removal, ice maintenance etc.)
  • Live with the neighbourhood that you volunteer for
  • Comfortable working independently outdoors in freezing temperatures in a park setting
  • Comfortable shoveling snow and bending and lifting up to 40 pounds
  • Ability to volunteer in the early morning or late nights during the winter months
  • Minimum age 18+ (for those14- 18, parental/guardian permission is required)  
  • Availability December – March (weather dependent)
  • Winter rink locations (link to winter rink page)


A City for Everyone 
  • Help build a city for everyone!  
  • Become part of a group of volunteers who are invited to participate in a variety of engagement opportunities
  • Development topics could include: sustainability, city planning and development, transportation planning, special events and arts and culture
  • You'll decide which engagement opportunities you want to participate with 
  • Engagement opportunities will take place between now and Fall 2021
  • Time commitment will vary depending on the task (e.g. survey may take 15 minutes and a focus group may take 1.5 - 2 hours)


Ten ways to make a positive impact this winter

The winter months are a time when many citizens consider how they can help the community and make a positive impact in the lives of others. In an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19, many of the traditional ways individuals and families might give back at this time of year are no longer feasible, but there are still safe options to explore.

Shovel snow for a neighbour

Keeping sidewalks free of ice and snow helps make neighbourhoods safer and more accessible for everyone, but can be very challenging for some members of our community. If you’ve noticed a neighbour who could use some help, consider lending a hand by clearing snow from their sidewalk, walkways, and driveway. Your neighbour will surely appreciate the help and you may even make a new friend! Find tips and helpful information in this guide from LoveMyHood.

Brighten the day for your neighbours in other ways

If shovelling snow isn’t an activity you enjoy, consider if there are other ways you can make a positive contribution to your neighbourhood, while still keeping everyone safe. Help your neighbours bring in their trash or recycling bins, decorate for the season, drop off positive cards or notes for your neighbours, place uplifting signs or messaging in your windows, arrange to have a meal delivered to someone’s home, organize a virtual gathering with your neighbours...the possibilities are endless. 

Explore ways to get involved in your neighbourhood

There are a ton of ways to play an active role in your neighbourhood. Check out the What's in my Neighbourhood? Map, reach out to a nearby community centre to find out which neighbourhood association is active in your area, or take some time to connect with your neighbours from home and start planning a neighbourhood project with the help of a LoveMyHood neighbourhood liaison

Contribute to a community art project

From Behind the Mask – A Community Quilt of COVID-19 Stories is a project that aims to make a safe space for pain, resilience, and care within Waterloo Region. Contribute a quilt block to the quilt, which will be displayed publicly in the community and online in 2021. You can pick up a quilt block at various locations around the region or you can make a block from home following the simple instructions on their website. No previous sewing experience is needed to participate! 

Show someone you care with a card or letter

Consider letting members of our community who are spending the season in shelters, group homes, and care facilities know you care by sending a cheerful card or letter. This is a great activity to do with children who enjoy arts and crafts. Be sure to contact the organization or facility to ask if this would be appreciated by their residents before you mail or drop off your card or letter.

Donate quality items you no longer need or use

As a household, sort through toys, books, clothes, linens, and other items from your home. Local organizations that will accept quality, clean items in good repair include Thrift on Kent and Worth a Second Look. If you want to share your books with others in your neighbourhood, consider placing them in a Little Library

Donate items to an organization

Many agencies and community organizations keep yearly or seasonal wish lists of products and items that help their clients in their daily lives or just help the agency to run more smoothly, for example: 

Fill a virtual shoebox for a woman in a shelter
The local chapter of the Shoebox Project for Women collects and distributes gift-filled shoeboxes to women impacted by homelessness. Due to COVID-19, they are not collection physical donations this year, but your can fill a virtual shoebox instead through their website.
Volunteer with a local organization

If you’re looking to make a positive impact over a longer period of time, you may want to consider volunteering to help a local organization. In an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19 and to protect the health and safety of our community, many in-person volunteer roles have been suspended, but there are still some options available. Consider volunteering with the Pandemic Volunteer Program or visit the Volunteer Action Centre website to see what other in-person and virtual volunteer opportunities are available. City of Kitchener volunteer opportunities are listed on this page.

Recognize a deserving neighbour

Do you have a good neighbour? Nominate them for the Good Neighbour recognition program so they know their efforts are appreciated! You can nominate a Kitchener resident, group, business, or organization who makes your neighbourhood a better place to live. You will receive a thank you card signed by the mayor and a member of council to give to your neighbour. Nominees will also be entered into a bi-monthly draw to win great prizes. Find information about other City of Kitchener award and recognition opportunities on our website

Types of volunteer roles at the City of Kitchener

Youth volunteer opportunities (for youth and young adults, aged 14-24)
We know one way to gain experience, develop skills and take on more responsibilities is through volunteering, which is why the City of Kitchener offers a wide variety of volunteer opportunities for youth (14-24 years old). Volunteer opportunities range from; helping out at a special event or summer camp to sharing your voice and opinions as a member of our Kitchener Youth Action Council (KYAC).

Environment and Sustainability: Bike Kitchener, Waste Reduction, Kitchener Natural Areas

These volunteer roles will allow you to contribute to Kitchener's sustainability goals and benefit the environment. 
Bike Kitchener
BikeKitchener promotes and fosters a sustainable cycling culture among Kitchener residents of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities. Whether residents are looking for information on cycling routes, safety tips, promotional events or upcoming projects, BikeKitchener provides information, resources, and support to those interested in cycling. With a goal of doubling the number of trips made by bicycle every three to five years, a significant amount of work is underway to make cycling safe and enjoyable for all Kitchener residents.
Waste Reduction/Sustainability
Continuing to advance our strong reputation for leadership in environmental management and with the endorsement of Kitchener Council, we want to be a leader in making our events green. 
Kitchener Natural Areas
Kitchener's Natural Areas Program (KNAP) is an environmental program that promotes the stewardship of our community's treasured natural spaces by:
  • Engaging the community in environmental stewardship projects,
  • Educating people about our natural areas, and
  • Creating opportunities for people to experience nature in the city.
Special Events

Volunteers play an important role in the success of each event. So, if you’re the type of person who enjoys interacting with people, wants to be part of an awesome team that helps to create great memories for those who attend - this could be the opportunity for you.  

Building skills, gaining hands on experience and helping to teach children how to swim are a few of things you’ll do as a Youth Swimming Lesson Assistant and Adapted Aquatic Volunteer. Swimming lessons run fall, winter, spring and summer in our four indoor pools and one outdoor pool in the summer. Swimming lessons take place both on the deck and in the water so you must be comfortable both in swallow and deep water. Qualifications will be verified as part of the screening process.
Kitchener Market
On Saturday mornings, the Kitchener Market is a hub of activity for shoppers and venders! It is also buzzing with volunteer opportunities! The Market has great possibilities for individuals who are interested in working with children as a Saturday Morning Event Ambassador or our March Break and Summer Kids in the Kitchen camps.
 Arts and Culture
Our Artist-in-Residence program supports artists innovation and excellence in contemporary art by regional artist. Each year a new artist-in-residence is selected who will connect with community members through special programming. With each new artist-in-residence comes an opportunity for volunteers to share and gain new skills and experiences. Volunteer opportunities are typically posted in the spring and run through late summer.
Community Centre Programs 
Our community centres are the hub of the neighbourhood which offers a variety of activities, programs and services. Many of the programs and activities are offered through the neighbourhood association however in a few of our community centres we have tuck shops and meal programs which require the assistance of volunteers.
Inclusion Support
The City of Kitchener is committed to ensuring that all residents can participate in leisure and recreational programs regardless of ability. One of the ways we do this is by having Leisure Support volunteers provide one-on-one support for residents who require assistance to participate in city programs. Volunteer opportunities are based on community requests. 
Older Adult Programs
Our older adult programs are designed for adults 55+, at most of our community centres - particularly Breithaupt CentreDowntown Community Centre and Rockway Centre. Although the programs are designed for adult 55+, we welcome volunteers of all ages. Areas where volunteers can contribute include; Ongoing Convenor, Peer Support and Senior Day Program.
Outdoor Winter Rinks
There are more than 30 outdoor rinks for everyone to enjoy each winter and without our dedicated volunteers that maintain and care for them; one of our favourite winter pastimes would not occur. Maintaining these rinks require many hands to flood, clear snow and maintain a safe place for their neighbourhood to skate. 
Kitchener Golf 

Where can you find a choice of two championship 18-hole courses, a full-length nine-hole course, a nine-hole pitch-and-putt course and a driving range, within minutes of home? Kitchener Golf can meet all your golfing needs - inside Kitchener city limits.

Advisory Committees to Council
Citizen committees provide advice and feedback to city council and standing committees on a variety of issues, including arts and culture, accessibility, downtown and the environment. Each advisory committee has at least one city council member; check out our full list of councillor appointments to local committees for more details. Each citizen committee has a two-year term.
Working Committees
Our Working Committees come together to get specific projects or activities done. Our Working Committees cover a wide range of topics, populations and interests and include; Mayor's Advisory Council for Kitchener Seniors (MACKS); Grand River Accessibility Advisory Committee; Kitchener Youth Action Council, and Kitchener in Bloom. Each Working Committee has their own recruiting period and terms of reference. Click on each link for more information.
In your neighbourhood- You take the lead! 

There are lots of ways to get involved and give back right in your neighbourhood! Here are a few ideas: 


 Love My Hood

Sometimes, all you need is a little inspiration to get the creative juices flowing--and Love my Hood is here to help.

Residents take the lead and the city supports them along the way. It's a principle as simple as it is powerful. And it's the vision of Love My Hood. Kitchener residents don't expect someone else to make their neighbourhoods great. You're ready, willing and able to do it yourself. Of course, we'll be there to help, but in the end, the best neighbourhoods are made by the people who live there. Get started with these ideas and links.

Neighbourhood Associations
We are proud to work with volunteers from the many neighbourhood associations across our community to help provide a variety of programs and resources close to your home. Each neighbourhood association has their own unique volunteer needs and processes, to find out which groups operate close to you and potential volunteer opportunities, check out our map of coverage areas.
 Minor Sports 
More than 40 minor sports organizations across our community partner with us to offer children and youth affordable ways to stay fit, have fun and make new friends. Our minor sports programs rely on and are run by local volunteers, who serve as executive members, coaches, team managers, special-event organizers and fundraisers. Learn more about each minor sport and group and how to get involved.
Have an idea on how you want to volunteer?

Know how you would like to volunteer, but don't see it listed? Please contact us or at 519-741-2200, ext. 7564 and we will explore the possibilities. 

FAQ for volunteers

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions we receive from people who are interested in volunteering with us - and the details they're seeking.

I don't have any experience; will I be considered as a volunteer?

Although experience is nice, it's not necessary. We know, for many people, volunteering is a great way to gain experience. So, if you are eager to learn and develop new skills, we encourage you to apply.

I like to volunteer but I don't have a lot of free time. Is there a minimum time commitment?

Each volunteer opportunity will have a minimum commitment, depending on the position. We understand people have busy lives, and we will do our best to find opportunities that work for your schedule.

How old do I have to be to volunteer?

Volunteer opportunities are available to people as young as 14 years of age. However, each opportunity will list the minimum age required. All new volunteers under age 18 must have a parent or guardian sign and complete all related forms.

What does the term 'screening process' mean?

Screening helps us find the right opportunities for you. Our screening process takes into account the skills, experience and qualifications needed for a specific volunteer opportunity. Through this process, we learn about your interests and goals. Our initial screening process includes our application form, interview and, depending on the opportunity, reference and police records checks may also be required.

How can I introduce volunteering to young children?

Introducing volunteerism to young children is a great way for them to see how helping others can have a positive effect -- not only on the person or cause, but on the volunteer too. Check out our list of ideas on how to start giving back.

My company or group wants to volunteer; where do I start?

Please contact our volunteer engagement team, so we can discuss potential opportunities with you.

For other volunteer opportunities outside the city, check out the listing at the Volunteer Action Centre of Kitchener-Waterloo and Area.

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