Celebrating Volunteer Appreciation Week 2024

Distress and Crisis Ontario

Celebrating Volunteer Appreciation Week 2024

National Volunteer Week 2024 - Distress and Crisis Ontario

It’s National Volunteer Week! According to Volunteer Canada, the theme for this year’s National Volunteer Week is “Every Moment Matters”. Volunteer Canada describes the theme as follows:​

The theme for National Volunteer Week highlights the importance of every volunteer and each contribution they make at a moment when we need support more than ever. The sharing of time, skills, empathy, and creativity is vital to the inclusivity, strength, and well-being of our communities. 

Volunteers are fundamental to meeting this challenging moment. By coming together, committing support, and increasing our collective efforts and impact, we contribute exponentially to the quality of life we all strive for.  

During National Volunteer Week 2024, we come together to recognize and celebrate the importance of each and every volunteer’s impact from coast to coast to coast. Now more than ever, Every Moment Matters.

Volunteering has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, but we have yet to see the official “Study on Giving, Volunteering, and Participating” (SGVP) in Canada for the years effected by the pandemic. The last large scale study on volunteering dates was released in 2018.

According to data collected from various charities across Canada (Bush), the toll on volunteerism has been evident. It’s been found that 55.1% of Canadian charities reported a decline in volunteer numbers in 2022 compared to pre-pandemic levels. It has also been noted that 22.4% of charities saw a significant decrease in volunteer participation, and 32.7% observed a moderate downturn in volunteer participation.

The implications of this decline are multifaceted. Volunteer numbers are dwindling but the demand for services provided by these organizations continues to escalate. This dissonance has left 50.8% of charity managers or coordinators in Canada with concerns about staff burnout — a pressing issue which is amplified by the gap between volunteer supply and demand.

Though there has been a decline in volunteering due to the pandemic, there is a lot of hope that numbers will steadily incline again. There is so much value that volunteering provides for both the community and the volunteers themselves, that numbers should steadily return to their pre-pandemic states. The Value of Volunteering Wheel created by Volunteer Canada (pictured below), “illustrates the many benefits of volunteering to building confidence, competence, connections, and community.”

The Value of Volunteering Wheel - Volunteer Canada - Distress and Crisis Ontario
The Value of Volunteering Wheel – Volunteer Canada

Volunteer Trivia!

Based on Statistics Canada’s Data on Giving, Volunteering and Participating in Canada (2018)​

Approximately how many hours did Canadians spend volunteering  in 2018?

a. 4 million​

b. 5 billion​

c. 2.5 billion​

d. 2.5 million


C. 2.5 billion hours!

In 2018, the total number of hours Canadians volunteered reached approximately 2.5 billion. This is equivalent to roughly 2.5 million full-time jobs. ​ On average, Canadian volunteers contribute around 206 hours each, which is almost 26 eight-hour working days. The impact of volunteering is huge!

Among formal volunteers, which type of work had the highest number of volunteer hours?

a. Sports and recreation​

b. Hospital ​

c. Religious​

d. Arts and Culture


B. Hospital

In 2018, hospitals had the highest annual hours of formal support by volunteers. Data found that, on average, volunteers dedicated 111 hours per year to hospital work. The next highest number of hours were dedicated to volunteer work in the religious sector with 110 hours on average spent volunteering in churches, synagogues, mosques, temples, and other religious organizations.​ The sports and recreation sector also saw a high number of volunteer engagement with 105 hours. Finally, volunteers contributed an average of 104 hours per year to the arts and culture sector.​

True or False… In 2018, Canadians born before 1980 were the most likely age group to take part in volunteer work.​



In 2018, Canadians born in 1996 or after were the most likely age group to take part in volunteer work. 52% of people born in or after 1996 (Gen Z’s) had volunteered in 2018 or 2017. ​Canadians born in 1945 or earlier, were the least likely to volunteer, with only 32% of the age group having volunteered in 2018 or 2017, though they were the age group to contribute the most hours on average. Canadians born in or after 1945 averaged 222 hours a year compared to Gen Z’s 82 hours a year.

We want to hear from YOU!

Reply to any or all of the questions below in our comments section!

  • Why do you volunteer?
  • How can we better support volunteers?
  • What specific skills or expertise do you bring to your volunteer role?​
  • What do you enjoy most about volunteering?​
  • Can you share a memorable experience or accomplishment from your time volunteering?
  • How has volunteering impacted you personally or professionally?​
  • What challenges, if any, have you encountered while volunteering?​
  • What questions do you have for your fellow volunteers?

Thank you volunteers!

If you are interested in volunteering and aren’t sure where to start, you could visit our locations page to find your nearest Member centre and see if they would be a good fit for you. Many of our Members are seeking new volunteers to help support their local communities in providing support to those experiencing distress, crisis, suicidal ideation, and more.


Bush, O. (2024c, March 13). Volunteer work statistics in Canada. Made in CA. https://madeinca.ca/volunteer-work-statistics-canada/ ​

Statistics Canada. (2021, April 23). Study: Volunteering counts: Formal and informal contributions of Canadians in 2018. The Daily. https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/daily-quotidien/210423/dq210423a-eng.htm ​

University of Waterloo / Volunteer Attract. (2024, April 16). Value of volunteering wheel. Resources – Volunteer Canada. https://volunteer.ca/index.php?MenuItemID=383 


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