It’s heart-warming to see how generous the Hamilton community is! Throughout the pandemic, your many offers to help kept us energized, feeling connected, and grateful to our community! THANK YOU so much!
If you would like to volunteer, please review the 7 steps listed in the How to volunteer graphic and see the available volunteer roles below.
(Note: an inquiry/application to volunteer does not guarantee a volunteer position.)
Our Philosophy for Volunteer Involvement
Volunteers reflect the diversity of our community, and are the heart of Neighbour to Neighbour Centre – an integral part of our past and vital to our future. Volunteers uphold our mission, share our vision, and embrace our values. We are committed to supporting volunteers with the resources necessary to implement our programs, and draw on volunteers’ experience and skills to achieve our common goals. This partnership enriches the services we provide and strengthens our community.
For over 35 years, our dedicated volunteers have been helping to meet the issue of food insecurity head-on in our community. We are neighbours helping neighbours. Why not join us?
Getting ready to volunteer
To be eligible to volunteer at N2N, prospective volunteers review the 7 steps listed in the How to volunteer graphic. In step 2, they attend the in-person pre-entry orientation session, where the following is covered:
- 1. The realities of living with low-income
- 2. N2N’s four areas of programming & volunteer opportunities
- 3. Required abilities and knowledge for volunteer positions
- 4. COVID safety
Within a few weeks of beginning a role, new volunteers attend a workshop, Planting the Seeds of Belonging, designed to more fully equip volunteers for their roles working with – and serving – people of diverse backgrounds. The following is covered:
For most volunteer roles, a once-weekly commitment is required. Roles marked AVAILABLE! are open, and we are accepting new volunteers to them. (All other roles are currently full, but check back frequently as they will open up.)
If you would like to volunteer in the future, please review the volunteer role descriptions below and send us a message via the form at the bottom of this page. When a role becomes available, we will contact you about next steps (an inquiry/application to volunteer does not guarantee a volunteer position). Your patience is appreciated – not every role is always available, and we experience a high number of inquiries. We DO look forward to working with you soon!
AVAILABLE VOLUNTEER ROLES
See each description to learn when volunteer shifts happen:
AVAILABLE! Community Meal Preparation volunteers assist prepping the Thursday take-out meal and Friday in-person lunch.
Commitment: Fridays, 10 am – 1 pm. Must be 14 years or older.
AVAILABLE! Kids Club Program volunteers: help the coordinators encourage each child to participate in the way they are most comfortable. Volunteers will help the program coordinators to create an environment that is safe, encourages exploration, and is fun! Kids Club volunteers are energetic people who love messy, loud, fun programming for kids and who are very adaptable. Commitment: Wednesdays 3:00 – 6:30 pm. Must be 16 years or older.
AVAILABLE! Navigator volunteers: work on a team in the spirit of N2N Centre’s values to manage the flow of shoppers in the outdoor and indoor waiting spaces of the food bank. Navigators help food bank shoppers and participants of the utilities and financial counselling programs with wayfinding through the line-up, intake and service process. Must have excellent people skills (self-aware, customer service-oriented, accommodating, efficient), and be on your feet for a 3.5 hr. shift. Commitment: Tuesdays or Wednesdays, 12:30-3:45 pm. Must be more than 16 years old.
AVAILABLE! Warehouse (cross-trained) volunteers: work on a team in the spirit of N2N Centre’s values to support the Emergency Food food bank service by receiving, sorting, packing and storing food donations. They also ensure the timely delivery of food products to food bank shoppers. The ability to lift 30-50 lbs. and be on your feet for a 3.5 hour shift is required. Must be more than 16 years old. Commitment: one weekly shift every:
- Wednesdays,12:30-3:45 pm, OR
- Thursdays, 12:30-4 pm, OR
- Fridays, 9 am -12:15 pm, OR
- Fridays, 12:30-3:45 pm
AVAILABLE! Reading Tutors provide one to one reading support for students in Grades 1 to 4 at selected schools during the school day. Commitment: 2-3 hours weekly from October-May and (4 hours total required in both September and June). Must be a minimum of 18 years of age.
AVAILABLE! Math Tutors provide math support for students in Grade 7 and 8 after school (3:45-5:00 pm) from October- June. Commitment: Up to 2 shifts per week October-June. Community Involvement hours will be credited for youth volunteers. Must be a minimum of 14 years of age (parental consent required).
Deban Brunette Literacy Program
- AVAILABLE! Reading Tutors provide one to one reading support for students in Grades 1 to 4 at selected schools during the school day. Commitment: 2-3 hours weekly from October-May and (4 hours total required in both September and June). Must be a minimum of 18 years of age.
- Educational Consultants instruct and support N2N’s reading tutors. This position requires extensive experience in education. Commitment: September to June, 2-8 hours per month.
Math Success Program:
- AVAILABLE! Math Tutors provide math support for students in Grade 7 and 8 after school (3:45-5:00 pm) from October- June. Commitment: Up to 2 shifts per week October-June. Community Involvement hours will be credited for youth volunteers. Must be a minimum of 14 years of age (parental consent required).
- Speaker Mentors provide a 15-20 minute talk on a career, including one not typically associated with math or financial literacy, to encourage gr. 7 & 8 students to see the importance of math in a variety of jobs. The talk may include how the speaker overcame a struggle in school or the speaker’s insight into different career paths. Commitment: 15-20 minutes after school, once or twice, October-June.
For details on any of these positions please contact Carolyn Rankin-Boutin at 905-574-1334 ext. 204 email@example.com or leave a message in the Ask us about volunteering form below.
Community Food programs
Garden Program volunteers, trained and supported by staff, help with set-up and take-down of program supplies, greeting program participants and community members, assisting participants in finding an activity that fits their interests, demonstrating various garden activities. Commitment: About 3 hrs. once weekly, either Wednesday mornings, Saturday mornings, Thursday afternoon/evenings.
Pollinator Gardener / Forest Caretaker volunteers, trained and supported by staff, help with the maintenance of the gardens and/or forest areas, including watering, weeding, species identification, harvesting edible plant parts, and promoting awareness of pollinator and/or edible species within the community. Commitment: about 2 hrs. per week, either Wednesday mornings, Saturday mornings, or Thursday afternoon/early evenings.
Garden Watering volunteers will help with the watering of the Patio Garden and Community Garden at the Community Food Centre (310 Limeridge Rd. West). Commitment: about 2-3 hrs. on Mondays from June-October.
Sharing Garden & Community Allotment Garden volunteers will help with the maintenance (seeding, planting, watering, weeding) of the Sharing Garden and watering at the Community Allotment Garden at 28 Athens St. Commitment: about 2-3 hrs. per week from June-October.
Affordable Produce Market volunteers help run a fresh fruit and vegetable market for the community. They set up and/or take down market equipment, arrange and present produce in an appealing way, label foods according to price list, serve customers and conduct a closing inventory. Customer service skills and friendly personality are assets. Must be comfortable with basic math. Commitment: Saturdays, 9:00 am – 1:00 pm. Ideal for 15-19 year olds and newcomers of any age.
Saturday Café volunteers engage in programming by preparing and distributing food to community members that visit the market/cafe. Commitment: Saturdays, 9:00 am – 1:00 pm. Ideal for 15-19 year olds and newcomers of any age.
Cooking Up Justice youth kitchen program volunteer assists the Program Coordinator with set-up, delivery, and clean-up of a biweekly community kitchen for youth ages 13-18. Volunteers help provide an open, welcoming space for young people to learn and share food skills, develop confidence in the kitchen, and engage in meaningful discussions about food justice. Priority will be given to volunteers living in the Rolston neighbourhood, newcomers, and Indigenous, Black, and racialized applicants. Commitment: Every second Tuesday from 3:30pm – 6:30 pm for 4 months. Must be 18 years or older.
Dining Service volunteers help to serve the in-person dinner on Thursdays, and assist with clean-up afterwards. There is a strong emphasis on sanitation, and we want to work with volunteers that are focused on a level of safety that is above and beyond personal home kitchens . Commitment: 2.5-hour shift every Thursday 4 – 6:30 pm, starting in April.
Drop-in Community Meal (Lunch or Dinner) Service volunteers assist with serving food to guests during Community Meal programs. They welcome and seat guests, and provide exemplary table service throughout the meal in a comfortable and dignified environment. Commitment: 3.5 hour shift weekly. Shift times and availability will vary according to program schedule and demand. Must be 16 years or older.
Drop-In Greeter & Program Support volunteers welcome guests to our Drop In Meals. They provide guidance for new and returning guests seeking more information about programs. Drop In Program volunteers provide leadership and direction. Commitment: 3.5 hour shift weekly. Must be 16 years or older.
Special Event volunteers assist staff before, during and after Special Events. Special Events could include community gatherings, film screenings, forums, town hall meetings, holiday celebrations, etc. Commitment: Special Event volunteers are periodically required.
Emergency Food Services
The Emergency Food Services department is open Monday – Friday. Emergency Food volunteer shifts happen during these times:
9am – 12:15pm (Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays) – all roles except home delivery packing & box-packing
12:30pm – 3:45pm (Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays) – all roles except home delivery packing & box-packing
3:45pm – 7:45pm (Thursday evenings) – all roles except home delivery packing and driving & box-packing
9am – 11am (Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays) – box-packing only
12:30pm – 2:30pm (Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays) – box-packing only
10am – noon (Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays) – home delivery packing only
10am – noon (Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays) – home delivery driving only
Warehouse volunteers: work on a team in the spirit of N2N Centre’s values to receive, sort, pack boxes and stock shelves with food donations and to ensure the timely delivery of food products to food bank shoppers. The ability to lift 30-50 lbs. and be on your feet for a 3.5 hour shift are required.
Commitment: 3.5-hour shift once weekly. Must be more than 16 years old.
Types of Roles:
- Home Delivery Packers: customize and prepare boxes for delivery to housebound clients.
- Box-packers: work on a team in the spirit of N2N Centre’s values to support the food bank by making 2 types of boxes (Families 1-3, Families 4-6) for pick-up during food bank appointments. The ability to lift 30-50 lbs. and be on your feet for a 2-hour shift is required. Commitment: 2-hour shift. Must be more than 16 years old.
- Warehouse Sorters: organize donated food by commodity, paying special attention to Best Before dates to ensure that only items that meet standards are made available to shoppers and housebound clients.
- Warehouse Receivers: direct just-arrived food donations to appropriate locations to ensure the timely delivery of products to shoppers and home delivery clients while also maintaining a safe work area. The ability to lift 30-50 lbs. and be on your feet for a 3.5 hour shift is required.
- Warehouse Runner: work on a team in the spirit of N2N Centre’s values to support Emergency Food volunteers (food bank, receiver, sorter and home delivery) by obtaining and delivering the items they require while also maintaining a safe work area. They also ensure the timely delivery of food products to food bank shoppers. The ability to lift 30-50 lbs. and be on your feet for a 3.5 hour shift is required. Commitment: one weekly 3.5 hr shift. Must be more than 16 years old.
- Short-term Food Bank Runners: support the Emergency Food servers by retreiving fresh produce, dairy and frozen meat for distribution. The ability to lift 30-50 lbs. and be on your feet for a 3.5 hour shift are required.
- Food Bank Servers: work on a team in the spirit of N2N Centre’s values, and in a manner that is dignified and respectful, to provide food options to shoppers. The ability to lift 30-40 lbs. and be on your feet for a 3.5 hour shift are required. Commitment: one 3-4-hour shift weekly. Must be more than 16 years old.
Driver volunteers: work on a team in the spirit of N2N Centre’s values to drop off 30-40 lb. food boxes to designated Hamilton residences. Must be more than 24 years old. Commitment: 2-hour shift once weekly.
Family Services Program
- Community Counsellors: provide information and access to community resources, help to identify options as well as validate the client’s experiences. Counsellors provide assistance with a variety of issues related to poverty, employment, family violence, health concerns and legal problems.
Commitment: 3-hour shift weekly, 9:30 am – 12:30 pm or 12:30 – 3:30 pm. Must have post-secondary education or work experience.
- Annual Golf Tournament volunteers support the event to ensure its’ successful and an enjoyable time for all:
- Set-up & Registration (9-11:30 am)
- Contest Ticket Sales (9-11:30 am)
- Overseeing Contests and Activities at Tees (10:15 am – 1:45 pm and/or 1:45 – 5:15 pm)
- Silent Auction (5 – 8 pm)
- Coldest Night of the Year volunteers support the event and attendees in any of these roles to ensure a safe and fun time for all. Coldest Night of the Year (CNOY) happens on the last Saturday of every February!
- Greeters and Wayfinders (3:30 – 6 pm)
- Welcome Cheerleaders (4:45 – 7 pm)
- Snack Prep (12 – 4 pm, or 4 – 8 pm)
- Route Marshals (outdoors, 3:45 – 7 pm)
- Set-up and Wrap-up (4:45 – 8 pm)
- N2N Books volunteers maintain a high level of customer service in the used book store. The store is a social enterprise, housed in the Neighbour to Neighbour Centre and open to the public, that generates revenue for our programming. Commitment: a 3-hour shift once weekly, either 9:30 am – 12:30 pm or 12:30 pm -3:30 pm. Must be more than 16 years old.
- Ambassadors: network with the business community to raise Neighbour to Neighbour Centre’s profile
- Speakers’ Bureau: make presentations to interested churches, schools and groups on Neighbour to Neighbour Centre’s programs and services. Commitment: 1 hour per month as needed. Must be more than 16 years old.
December Programs - recruitment for these roles is reserved for currently active volunteers
Special Events in Community Food Programs: Volunteers work with staff to provide support at the Winter Solstice Dinner, at Community Kitchen workshops and Child/Youth-focused events. Exact dates and times tbd.
Toy Store: volunteers set up the store, float between the store and Neighbour to Neighbour to maintain tables stocked with toys; assist shoppers with carry-out; and ensure each shopper is treated with dignity and respect. Commitment: One or two 4-hour shifts. Must be more than 16 years old.
Board of Board Directors
Do you want to help us eliminate food insecurity and assist those in need to escape from the constraints of poverty?
Neighbour to Neighbour (N2N) Centre is looking for people who want to make a difference in the lives of those in need. We need people who want to help other people and are willing to commit time and effort by lending their skills to our volunteer Board of Directors to ensure that N2N delivers on their mission to lead those at risk in our community to an improved quality of life.
Who are we?
Neighbour to Neighbour Centre has helped Hamiltonians in need for over 30 years. From our emergency food bank to educational and family supports to our Community Food Centre, Neighbour to Neighbour uses preventative measures and strategies to alleviate the burden of poverty in Hamilton.
Who are you?
Like us, you value leadership, integrity, and diversity.
You are someone who cares about other people and their well-being; you want to assist others by empowering them with tools and ideas that will help them change their lives.
You love to have a positive impact on people!
What skills can you bring to the Board?
The following skills are all relevant:
- Corporate Governance
- Strategic Thinking
- “Big Picture” Perspective
- Accounting/Financial Background
- Youthful Perspective
- Legal Knowledge
- Commercial Real Estate
- Human Resources
- Strong contacts within the community
- Social Media experience
A Director on our Board is an unpaid volunteer. Board members oversee the strategic plan, finances and policies and procedures of N2N; their support, guidance and drive help staff make informed decisions and plan future programs and events.
Directors are expected to attend a Monthly Meeting of 2 hours in duration and serve on (minimum) one Task Force that meets quarterly.
Monthly meetings occur on the fourth Thursday of each month at the N2N head office in Hamilton. During COVID, the board has been meeting over Zoom.
The Term of Office is for a period of two (2) years which may be renewed for a second and third terms, to a maximum term of six (6) years.
How to Apply?
Please send your expression of interest by submitting a resume and covering letter to:
Dan Holstein c/o firstname.lastname@example.org
Your covering letter should state why you wish to be considered as a Director for the N2N Board with notes as to your skills that would be relevant and of value to the Board.
Candidates who best meet our requirements will be invited to meet with members of our Nominating Task Force. The Nominating Task Force will make its recommendations to the Board of Directors; the Board will determine which candidates will be invited to join the Board as new Directors.
Thank you in advance for your interest.
Ask us about volunteering
Volunteers follow these COVID-19 safety measures:
– stay home if feeling unwell and let supervisor know as soon as possible
– work within the designated zone that corresponds to one’s volunteer role
– keep a 2-metre distance from other volunteers, staff, shoppers, participants and donors while volunteering
– wash hands frequently, and for 20 seconds