Reena volunteers play a vibrant role in promoting dignity, individuality, independence, personal growth and community inclusion for people with developmental disabilities.
Why Volunteer with Reena?
- Make a difference in the lives of individuals supported by Reena
- Explore professional development opportunities to build skills and training
- Develop new friendships
- Enjoy a rewarding assignment
- Help others discover hidden talents
- Gain a sense of accomplishment
- Earn community service hours
How to Get Involved
To become a volunteer at Reena, we typically require a minimum commitment of six months and 50 hours, although exceptions apply for certain time-limited program sessions, activities, or events. Volunteers should be at least 14 years of age and in grade nine or older. The process begins by contacting Volunteer Services, sending your resume, and scheduling an interview. Please be aware that our screening process may take 2-4 weeks to complete, during which you’ll participate in an orientation, sign off on our policies and procedures, obtain a Vulnerable Sector Screen, submit local references, and complete training related to your volunteer assignment.
Hear from Our Volunteers
Nicole Simon has volunteered in Reena’s Special Olympics Bowling program since October, 2013 where she assists the athletes by providing physical and moral support, cheering them on as they bowl. Nicole received the Ontario Volunteer Service Award this year in recognition of her contribution to Reena.
Here is what Nicole has to say about her volunteer experience:
“My late brother had physical and mental challenges, and after he passed away, I wanted to honour his memory by becoming involved in the special needs community. It’s important to show the vulnerable members of our community that we value them. I heard great things about Reena from a friend of mine who volunteered in the summer programs a couple years prior and strongly recommended it to me. Reena being a Jewish agency was a factor in my decision too. I like to give back to the Jewish community, since I feel that I receive so much from it. I really enjoy my work at Reena, getting to know the individuals supported by Reena and building meaningful relationships with them. Reena has impacted my personality in a sense that I am now a more patient and compassionate individual. It has also made me aware to create inclusive environments not only during my time in Reena, but in my everyday life as well. My first week as a recreational buddy, I had a cast on my leg. I was so touched by the outpouring support from the athletes – they continued to ask me about my recovery not just that week, but for several weeks after my cast was removed. This experience made me feel very welcomed, and also showed that the Reena participants treat their volunteers very warmly. Initially, I thought I would be giving as a volunteer, but ultimately, the relationship is mutual, as both the volunteers and the individuals with developmental disabilities give and receive at Reena. Reena is a great place to volunteer! Both the staff and individuals are so appreciative. I can’t count the number of times that someone shows their gratefulness. The programs are lots of fun, and modified to ensure participation from every individual! I would absolutely encourage others to volunteer with Reena.”
“I wanted to thank you for providing me with the opportunity to volunteer at Reena and for helping me along the way. The experience inspired me to become a staff member at Camp Reena and take on new responsibilities in order to enrich the lives of those living with developmental disabilities as best as I can. It also pushed me to discover a profession that I have gained great interest in and would like to pursue – that of a developmental pediatrician. I would like to assist children with disabilities in living healthy and enjoyable lives.
This realization stemmed from my incredible volunteer experience. Thus, I would like to express deep gratitude to you for being such passionate and helpful volunteer coordinators; my life was truly enhanced by the experience.”
– Eden M.
Because of the invaluable contributions, volunteers make to the operation of Reena, we make every effort to recognize and celebrate their work. Highlights that happened throughout the year include:
- Reena’s Annual Report recognizes the contributions of our volunteers and the vital role they play in our organization.
- Reena’s Annual General Meeting presents awards to volunteers for their hard work and dedication. The recipients are given a personalized certificate highlighting their contributions to Reena.
- Ontario Volunteer Services Awards recognize volunteers for providing committed and dedicated service to an organization. The awards are presented at ceremonies across Ontario from March to June. The recipients are given a trillium service pin and a personalized certificate to acknowledge their years of service.
- Vaughan Volunteer Recognition Award recognizes the contributions of outstanding volunteers from throughout Vaughan.
- National Volunteer Week is a time to celebrate and thank Canada’s 12.7 million volunteers for the selfless work they do to help those around them.