At RCRG, we often receive requests, especially from businesses, about group volunteer opportunities. Which makes perfect sense: we are, after all, Richmond’s volunteer centre, and our community is filled with awesome caring companies that want to give back. Of course they’d come to us looking for ways to get involved! Now, thanks to our volunteer writer, Amanda Oye, we have a definitive list of some of the best and most rewarding group volunteer opportunities Richmond has to offer. Read on to find out how you and your colleagues – or family members, teammates, friends, etc. – can volunteer, and make an impact, together.
If you’re reading this article, you already know how essential volunteering is to communities, and how much businesses stand to gain from using group volunteerism as a team building activity. What you might not know is how to find the perfect place for your team. Luckily, Richmond has a treasure trove of group volunteer opportunities that are sure to spark passion in and inspire everyone.
To start, the Richmond Food Bank offers food-lovers a chance to help make sure that all Richmond residents have access to nutritious things to eat. Volunteering means assisting with tasks such as distributing produce, checking dates and sorting items, providing people with community information, and conducting nutrition demonstrations. By helping out the Food Bank, your team will be a part of making its vision of “A caring community where no one goes hungry” come true. For more information, you can visit the Food Bank’s website at www.richmondfoodbank.org, send them an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call them at 604-271-5609.
If food is your team’s passion, but you also want to get some fresh air, The Sharing Farm is always looking for people to get their hands dirty. Tasks include moving compost to fields, seeding and transplanting, weeding, harvesting, washing, and packing and removing dead plants. Fans of the farm’s annual Garlic Festival will be especially excited to know that they also need help with garlic planting, harvesting, and braiding. The food that they grow is distributed around the city, to places such as the Richmond Food Bank, and is used at community meals. The farm offers volunteer opportunities from April to October. More information about The Sharing Farm can be found on their website at www.sharingfarm.com, or you can contact them at email@example.com or 604-227-6210.
If your team loves nature the Richmond Nature Park Society is a great place to volunteer. They are looking for groups to help out on either single projects or on an ongoing basis. Tasks include assisting with maintenance and conservation projects, and assisting with cutting and removing invasive shrubs, such as blackberry bushes. Like The Sharing Farm, the Nature Park has volunteer opportunities from April to October. There are a few things to keep in mind: first, nesting season for birds causes a degree of difficulty; second, work is done outdoors so expect to get dirty; and third, there are more staff available on weekdays, which makes it easier to accommodate volunteer groups. If you’d like more information, you can visit the Nature Park’s website at www.richmond.ca/naturepark, or contact Kris Bauder by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 604-718-6188.
Teams that love wildlife should jump at the chance to volunteer with Iona Beach Regional Park. Described on metrovancouver.org as “a mecca for thousands of migrating birds,” Iona Beach Regional Park is a popular place for animals and people alike. Help is needed to clear the park from invasive species such as Scotch broom and Himalayan blackberry. If you are interested in finding out more, you can visit their website at www.metrovancouver.org/services/parks/parks-greenways-reserves/iona-beach-regional-park, or contact Roy Teo, the stewardship technician, by email at Roy.email@example.com or by phone at 604-530-4983.
The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup is another great outdoor opportunity, and they look for volunteers year-round. The Vancouver Aquarium and WWF Canada came together to organize this initiative to clean up our shorelines. The program gives you the option of being a site coordinator and leading a cleanup, or joining an existing cleanup group. If you are interested in helping to rid our shorelines of litter, you can visit www.vanaqua.org/act/direct-action/great-canadian-shoreline-cleanup and shorelinecleanup.ca/index.php, or you can contact them by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 1-877-427-2422.