By Mike Anderson

It’s been proven that volunteering is good for you. According to experts, it reduces stress and improves your mental well-being.

But, with so many organizations in Georgina, how do you decide which is the right fit for you?

That’s where the Georgina Volunteer Fair comes in.

On Friday, April 21, from noon to 4 p.m., up to sixteen different organizations will set up tables at the LINK to provide prospective volunteers with information about what they do and the opportunities they offer.

Following the success of the Georgina Job Fair last September, Routes Connecting Communities has partnered with other non-profits, including Jericho Youth Services and Hospice Georgina, and the Town of Georgina and York Region, to bring the volunteer fair, the first of its kind in Georgina, to the LINK.

Participating organizations actively looking for volunteers include the Georgina Centre for Arts and Culture, Georgina Community Food Pantry, Georgina Kinsmen, Georgina Military Museum, and York Pride.

“I think it’s a great idea to have it under one roof because it provides people with options,” said Joy Girgis Wahby, Route’s Community Engagement Coordinator.

“A lot of people are not really aware of what different volunteer opportunities there are out there.”

“When we have it under one roof, people can walk around and find out if there’s something for them. You’re not obligated to choose one; you can find what best fits your needs.”

Girgis Wahby says it’s hard to describe a typical volunteer, but she says it’s someone who wants to give back to their community and help it grow.

“There are many reasons why people volunteer. Sometimes people want to build their social connections or gain valuable skills that they can use in the future,” she said.

“It’s also beneficial for retired people who have free time and are looking for a sense of purpose, or kids who are in high school who need volunteer hours.”

She says the fair also helps local organizations, which, otherwise, would have to use their limited resources to attract volunteers.

“For example, we’re looking for volunteer drivers for our transportation services, and it’s been hard to find people who have the free time and are willing to make the commitment,” she said.

Girgis Wahby admits the pandemic did have an impact on organizations like Routes, as some volunteer drivers, concerned about their safety, dropped out.

But she says that fear has largely receded. Now the biggest difficulty is finding people with the free time to volunteer.

Girgis Wahby says while the volunteer fair will be more informal than a job fair, most organizations will require people to fill out a registration application.

And some volunteers will need to meet specific requirements, like a Vulnerable Sector Check, provided by York Regional Police, especially if they are volunteering to work with children or other vulnerable individuals.

While the volunteer fair bookends National Volunteer Week (April 16-22), the decision to hold it on the Friday instead of the Saturday was partly made to attract people who aren’t working.

“Anyone that’s working is probably taking Saturday and Sunday off. If they want to volunteer on those days, that’s great, but I think we’re trying to find people who have time on their hands and are looking for something during the work week,” she said.

Girgis Wahby hopes the fair will attract a good crowd, who can expect light refreshments, a free Swag Bag, fun activities, like Tai Chi, and to hear from several guest speakers who will be discussing the benefits of volunteering.

For more information, contact or call 905-722-5540, ext 5473. The LINK is located at 20849 Dalton Rd in Sutton.



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