Time. Doesn’t it seem like it can pass without notice these days—doom scrolled away? We all know that time is precious—it collects into moments of impact, for better or worse. Moments that matter.

This year’s theme for National Volunteer Week reminds us that every moment matters. Volunteering is one of the most powerful ways to live that out. Each day, in every corner of the world, volunteers use their time to make a positive impact in their communities.

Your impact by the numbers

Just take a look at the incredible impact Compassion volunteers in Canada made in 2023!

  • 300 volunteers helped at 385 events
  • 2,655 hours of volunteer service was given
  • 4,115 sponsorships were set up at events with volunteer help
  • $46,285 was raised through volunteer fundraising and giving

WATCH: Thank you, volunteers!

Compassion Canada President and CEO Allison Alley shares a message of thanks with our volunteers.

And it’s not just our amazing volunteers here in Canada. There are so many examples of volunteers making an impact in the Compassion world.

Here are 5 types of Compassion volunteers to celebrate this National Volunteer Week!

1. Letter writing volunteers

Lynn is wearing glasses and a floral shirt. She holds an ice cream cone. Roberto is wearing a striped shirt and holding an ice cream cone.

Lynn with Bernardo, the child she sponsors in Ecuador. She recalls being with him when he tries ice cream for the first time.

Did you read our recent blog about Lynn, the incredible woman who sponsors and writes to 101 Compassion kids?

Some sponsors are unable to write to the children they sponsor, and that’s where letter-writing volunteers like Lynn come in. When a sponsor lets us know they can’t write to the child they sponsor, we’ll pair that child with a letter writing volunteer.

Lynn shares about the connections she makes through letter writing: “There have been times when we’ve sung a song on a Sunday morning that really touched me, and I’ll come home and write to them: ‘We sing this song. Do you know this song?’ And the responses I get are amazing because they’ll tell me they either know that one or they don’t, or they’ll say, ‘This is a song I really like—we learned it, and we sing it with our teacher.’ You never know where the simplest thing is going to lead you,” she shares.

Are you interested in becoming a letter writing volunteer? Send us an email to learn more!

2. Board members

A group standing in a football field at a Compassion centre.

The Compassion Canada board spending some time with youth in Compassion’s program in Colombia.

Our board members serve in a vital role for our organization and in advancing our mission—and they are all volunteers! The role of a board is to direct and protect an organization, serving with wisdom and discernment.

These are individuals who care deeply about the mission and give their time to ensure our organization can maximize its efforts to advance it.

In a blog post about the board’s 2023 trip to Colombia, board member Marie shares: “Through this profound and life-impacting Compassion journey, the Lord has grown my heart and my love for our neighbours experiencing poverty around the world.”

We’re so thankful for the faithful women and men who serve on our board!

3. Alumni volunteers at Compassion centres

Francisco wears a blue shirt and carries a red tray to serve food at his former Compassion centre.

In Colombia, Francisco volunteers by serving a meal at the Compassion centre where he was once a Compassion child.

Francisco grew up in Colombia, in a community where roughly half the population lives in desperate poverty. Abandoned by his mother and with his father in jail, Francisco experienced a life of homelessness and poverty alongside his only caregiver left, his great-grandfather.

However, life changed and new hope arose when he was registered at the local Compassion centre. Today, Francisco is a university graduate and the first in his family to have a job in technology. He is also passionate about giving back as a volunteer at his former Compassion centre.

“My hope for this community is that they will open their hearts to God, because He is the only one who can transform our lives and change our way of thinking,” he says. “And secondly, that they would keep going. Because despite all the challenges and difficulties you may face in life, with God’s help, you can make it through.”

4. Compassion youth volunteers

Youth marching on a street with a sign raising awareness for recycling.

Compassion youth in Cochabamba, Bolivia volunteer to take action and raise awareness for creation care in their community.

Volunteerism and giving back to the community are instilled early on in a child’s time in the Compassion program. Youth have regular opportunities to give back to their communities in a variety of ways.

For example, in Bolivia, youth from eight Compassion centres in Cochabamba came together to clean up garbage along 6 kilometres of a main highway as a way to serve their community and raise awareness for the importance of caring for God’s creation.

Joel, the Compassion partnership facilitator in the region, shares: “The activity was named ‘Called to Serve.’ The main purpose was for the youth to show their character of service towards their neighbours. It was for them to give their time and to work for the well-being of others.”

5. Event volunteers

Two women writing information in a Compassion sponsorship package, with other child sponsorship profiles in front of them.

A Compassion volunteer helps a new sponsor set up their sponsorship at a Compassion booth at a church event.

Back here in Canada, another important group of volunteers are our event volunteers! These are people who represent Compassion at churches, events, concerts and conferences where Compassion’s work is being presented. They help answer questions and set up sponsorships and donations.

In 2023, 300 Compassion event volunteers served at 385 events and helped set up over 4,100 sponsorships—talk about moments of impact!

Do you enjoy connecting with people at events? Learn more about becoming an event volunteer!

Volunteering is a powerful way to participate in moments of impact—to be reminded that every moment matters, big or small!

To every volunteer across the country and around the world: thank you.

Join us! Learn more about volunteering with Compassion Canada today.

Learn more

Alyssa Esparaz

Alyssa Esparaz

Alyssa is Compassion Canada's Manager of Content and Public Relations, telling stories that inspire and equip compassionate people to take action on behalf of children in poverty. She is a graduate of the University of Toronto, where she studied International Development, and a current Master of Communications Management student at McMaster University.