Make a difference as a volunteer
As a community organization, Macdonald Youth Services relies entirely on support from generous donors, funders, partners and volunteers to continue helping more than 9,500 Manitoba youth and families every year.
Share your skills and expertise as an MYS volunteer:
- As a senior leader on our Board of Directors (by nomination)
- On a regular basis or on individual projects/programs
- With fundraising and special events
- At one of our facilities or virtually, for anyone interested in helping with digital content, including design and video
Become a Volunteer Mentor
Volunteer mentors work alongside MYS staff to help youth develop a sense of pride, achievement and belonging through community service projects that also enhance their skills for work and life. Some are working toward high school credit, while others are completing court-ordered community service. Many are there to prevent involvement or re-involvement in the criminal justice system. And a lot of youth just show up because they enjoy the experience.
Mentors receive formal training and ongoing support from MYS staff to build safe, positive and trusting relationships with youth. Applications are accepted year-round. There are five shifts per week, plus one leisure and one cooking activity each month. Each shift or activity typically involves teams of one MYS staff member, one or two volunteer mentors and six youth.
Interested in volunteering at MYS? email firstname.lastname@example.org
Every Wednesday, Liam 22, devotes roughly five hours each week as a volunteer mentor.
A busy, full-time university student heading for a career in healthcare, he first saw it as an opportunity to build his resume. But it quickly became much more.
"Even on the coldest days, when I come off a shift, I feel warm and fuzzy," he says. "It's like food for your soul."
"You can tell with a lot of the youth, just based off the stories they tell, there's a lack of role models in their life a lot of the time; or just a lack of people to connect with; or maybe they've been bullied or feel like an outcast. But they're all really good kids at heart."
"They just need role models who will set them straight when they act out and say 'look, do you think it's okay to be swearing in this setting?' I think it gives youth the guidance they may have lacked in some circumstances, which is super healthy. I think it really shows in the youth who go through the program."
"It's nice because you get to work with other community organizations like Winnipeg Harvest, Winnipeg Humane Society and Fort Whyte," says Liam. Other partners include Riverview Health Centre and a drop-in program at a local elementary school.
"It's also an excellent place to meet some super great, empathetic people who are there because they care and want to engage with youth," says Liam.