Volunteerism is rooted in the traditions and goals of the Canadian people, and it is inspired by the Native cultures’ concepts of mutual aid and cooperation in Canada. Despite significant volunteer time devoted to humanitarian initiatives, history has yet to recognize these efforts.
This article offers a historical overview of volunteering in Canada, highlighting the importance of volunteers from the beginning. The voluntary achievements listed below are just a small portion of what Canadians do as a whole.
Some of those named may not have used the terms “volunteer” or “volunteerism.” Today, we use these terms to describe the acts of countless Canadians who have done so without concern for financial benefit in order to meet a need, showing their responsibility to society.
The purpose of this short history of volunteering in Canada is to raise public understanding of the breadth and diversity of volunteers in Canada. The everyday efforts of Canadian volunteers have addressed many personal and social problems, showing what ordinary people can do via active involvement.
Sometimes we watch movies and their act of kindness shown isn’t something we are used to seeing. Just like when you’re watching Harry Potter and witnessing them being sorted into different houses in the movie looks cool. Most people would think that it isn’t something you can do in real life. That’s absolutely wrong. You can simply take the Hogwarts house test and you can definitely experience what they do in the movies. It’s basically the same with volunteering. What we see in movies is what we can do in real life. We think that by recognizing previous volunteer achievements, modern-day volunteering will gain prominence and realize its full potential.
One With Profound Roots of Volunteering
Canadians have a long history of voluntary work. Volunteering has created a lot of positive energy for the greater benefit. However, the combined effort of millions of ordinary Canadians from every region of the country has had a major impact on virtually every aspect of Canadian society — and has in fact promoted its growth and development.
Volunteers are ordinary individuals who choose to assist others, solve issues, or promote a worthy cause. Recognizing a societal need, they work hard to provide it without concern for monetary compensation.
This act of volunteerism has been influenced by the traditions that have formed Canada. Native peoples, as well as European settlers and immigrants from all over the world, have long stressed that we are accountable for our own actions.
Canada has a long tradition of courteous obligation and compassion for all Canadians in need. Canadians are more aware of the consequences of chronic poverty, long-term illness, and disability, as well as crises caused by natural disasters and economic events beyond our control, and are beginning to realize that none of us is self-sufficient.
Volunteers are the driving force behind hundreds of non-profit and community organizations throughout Canada. Today, 5.6 million people volunteer for a variety of organizations in a variety of fields. An estimated 13 million Canadians participate in volunteer work.
Phenomena That Is Exclusively Canadian
Numerous non-profit organizations in health, social services, and other areas have been established by volunteers as founders and supporters, both as board members and front-line volunteers, over the last 125 years.
Certain types of volunteering organizations, on the other hand, were created in Canada in response to the country’s specific needs.
Many early Canadian health and social service initiatives were spearheaded by members of the community. Volunteers built orphanages, hospitals, and nursing homes in most early towns, usually via religious or cultural organizations, and health and welfare agencies working with families to provide much needed assistance. In response to public demand, the government assumed responsibility for key components of the health and welfare system.
To keep up with the developments in this age, volunteer organizations have expanded and diversified their participation in human services. Private volunteer organizations continue to be an important and visible component of the vast network of activities and services on which communities rely.
Volunteers have historically played a vital role in human services such as social welfare, health care, and disaster relief. Volunteers have contributed to the development of our vision of a more just society.
They’ve also served as the backbone of our political system. They are currently actively involved in sports, recreation, the arts, culture, education, training, and environmental preservation.
Religion and Human Services
Loving their neighbors and other citizens is a Canadian thing. To summarize, someone who has been blessed with great riches is required to help others who are less fortunate. Our Indigenous peoples, the first Christian immigrants, and virtually every succeeding religion to Canada all share these values.
For example, in the mid-nineteenth century, Blacks moving to Canada sought assistance from established Black churches. Food, clothing, shelter, and safety were all given by the early Black churches. Religious organizations and coalitions in both Canada and the United States assisted runaway slaves.
The majority of the first organized social services in Canada were established by churches. This practice persisted in Quebec until the 1960s, when the Roman Catholic Church continued to provide basic health and social services.
While the state currently funds many religiously sponsored activities and services, others continue to flourish. These efforts, taken together, are critical in today’s social service system.
The Salvation Army, for example, offers programs for offenders, the homeless, single mothers, and alcoholics. These programs were often the only ones available in certain parts of the state. In addition, almost every Roman Catholic diocese in Canada has a director of charity in charge of a network of services.
Similarly, Jewish, Protestant, and other religious organizations have specific social aid programs. Religious organizations continue to run hospitals, children’s homes, nursing homes, and other services in many Canadian communities.
Almost every organized religious organization has considered it their responsibility to promote and support social services. Religious organizations have been pioneers and leaders in the fields of social welfare and health care in Canada.
These religious organizations have certainly influenced individual and societal attitudes on social welfare and health care, as well as inspired social reform efforts throughout history.