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7 Easy Ways You Can Help Your Community With The Canadian Red Cross

Even the smallest efforts count.

Contributing writer
7 Easy Ways You Can Help Your Community With The Canadian Red Cross
@redcrosscanada | Instagram, @redcrosscanada | Instagram

Over the past year, Canadians have come together to support, uplift and encourage one another time and time again.

As restrictions begin to ease off, the pandemic's proverbial fog seems to finally be lifting, but the reality is that many people in Canada and globally are still in dire need of help.

Whether a community is in crisis or individuals are in distress, there's always an opportunity to make a positive impact, and the Canadian Red Cross has a mission to help people and communities in times of need.

Lending a helping hand comes in various forms, and Canadians looking to be that someone and grow in their career at the same time can do so with the Canadian Red Cross.

The charitable organization offers many roles, including designers, equipment technicians, medical professionals, safety specialists, as well as positions in communications and logistics. Being a humanitarian isn't limited to helping out with natural disasters and responding to emergencies.

Whether you're a seasoned volunteer or someone looking for paid employment opportunities, there are so many chances to help your community in ways that suit virtually anyone.

Help Out With COVID-19 By Doing Humanitarian Work & Get Paid For It

If there's anything you can relate to, it would most likely be the adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. And just like you, everyone around the globe has been affected in one way or another. The Canadian Red Cross is here to offer its full support, and search for empathetic people who would like to do the same.

Right now, the Red Cross is hiring humanitarian workers to help out with various jobs (including paid positions!) like mental health advisors, site managers, and various roles in people-facing services.

COVID-19 humanitarian work is available in every province and some jobs are even labelled as flexible, meaning you can work from pretty much anywhere.

Newcomers Can Take Action With The SmartStart Program

Courtesy of Canadian Red Cross

The SmartStart program is an injury-prevention program for immigrants, refugees and new Canadians. Through workshops and presentations, volunteers help newcomers understand and get ready for safety issues related to living in a new province.

Bavleen Kaur, who came to Canada in August 2019, joined the Canadian Red Cross just months after arriving in a new country.

"After I came to Canada, my aunt encouraged me to take some time out of my studies and my part-time job and spend it volunteering. I started looking for volunteer opportunities around my area and came across the Canadian Red Cross," Bavleen told Narcity. "Being a part of this team helps you meet people from different countries and learn about their cultural backgrounds. It gives you a chance to share what you know, learn new skills and simply help others."

As a Red Cross volunteer, Bavleen attends workshops, presentations and meetings that provide her with the tools she needs to help other new Canadians tackle the harsh Winnipeg winters, like injury prevention and how to make 911 calls.

SmartStart has been adapted into a nationwide program called First Aid Basics, which is available in English, French, Punjabi, Hindi, Chinese and Simplified Chinese.

Channel Your Inner Superhero By Being Part Of The Emergency Management Team

There's a need for volunteers to join the Red Cross Emergency Management Team with available positions ranging from safety and well-being responders to emergency response team supervisors and personal disaster responders. These volunteer openings are accessible all across Canada.

When you volunteer for the Emergency Management Team, the Red Cross will train you to provide vital services to people who have suffered from an emergency or natural disaster. Whether it's a big or small emergency, you'll gain the skills needed to offer your community emotional and essential support.

Be The Reason For Someone's Smile With The Friendly Calls Program

Courtesy of Canadian Red Cross

If you've felt lonely during the pandemic, you may have called your friends or family to virtually reconnect, but what do you do if you don't have anyone to call? The Red Cross Friendly Calls Program exists to help address issues of isolation and loneliness by pairing specially trained volunteers with someone who may have limited social and family connections, giving them an outlet where they'll form companionship and receive the support they need.

Through the program, which is active in many regions across Canada, volunteers create a safe space for participants and provide them with resources and programs they can benefit from in their communities.

If you're looking to make a positive impact without having to leave your home, this volunteer opportunity could be for you.

Support Refugees By Volunteering With The First Contact Program

When refugees arrive in Canada, they can face several challenges — like learning a new language, adopting new cultures and values and getting used to the weather, making it difficult to settle in. By becoming a volunteer with the First Contact Program, you can provide the tools that'll help prevent marginalization and exploitation to refugee claimants.

The service that volunteers provide in this program entails 24/7 telephone support, detailed info on emergency shelters, social services, legal and health services, and an extensive review of important matters, such as legal aid, English classes, and work permits.

Use Your Spare Time To Participate In Transportation & Meal-Delivery Services

If you have a G license and enjoy cruising around, you can dedicate your time to different services that involve driving, such as a Meals on Wheels driver or a transportation driver. Several people aren't able to drive, whether they're elderly or simply can't obtain a vehicle for whatever reason.

With Meals on Wheels, you'll be required to deliver delicious and nutritious meals to elderly, chronically ill, and vulnerable clients. Some other duties include sorting meals and always arriving on time, of course. Current openings for the Meals on Wheels position are in Ontario and Newfoundland.

There are opportunities to be a transportation driver in Ontario, and the purpose of this volunteer job is to help out those who have no means of transportation. Plus, it offers social interaction and independence to those in need.

Use Your Mobility To Help Those Who Need It With The Health Equipment Loan Program

The Health Equipment Loan Program (HELP) assists injured, sick, or elderly people in getting the equipment they need to live independently. HELP offers several different services, including short- and long-term loans of specialized equipment and medical beds.

Healthcare professionals actually refer clients to the Canadian Red Cross to obtain the equipment they need, knowing the organization provides safe services. There are many types of volunteer positions currently open, including drivers, who will help with delivering and picking up health equipment at homes and HELP sites.

If you want to see an active change, ask yourself what you can do to contribute and to be that someone. Through the Canadian Red Cross, people will be able to depend on you when facing something too big to tackle on their own.

"Whether big or small, everything you do is capable of making a difference in someone's life," Bavleen told Narcity. "And when you think of making an impact in a community, you are actually halfway there because you gave it a thought. Now all you need is a plan and a little dedication towards it. Every effort matters."

To get started, all you need to do is find the role that's right for you and apply online. Once you get an interview and pass the screening test, you'll be able to jump into training and become a part of something bigger than yourself.

Helping your community really is that simple.

To learn more about employment and volunteer opportunities, check out the Canadian Red Cross website or follow them on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or TikTok.