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To volunteer with Ve’ahavta, please create an account and log into our portal. Each volunteer must make their own profile, including youth accompanied by a parent/guardian. (This is a new system; if you have volunteered before, you will need to create a new account. Thank you!) 

Register now!

If you already have an account: 

Log in here!

Have questions? Contact volunteerinfo@veahavta.org or 416-964-7698 ext 216

Mobile Jewish Response to Homelessness (MJRH)

It doesn’t get more direct than this.

This outreach van program offers a unique volunteer opportunity. Volunteers assist a Ve’ahavta outreach worker for a five or six-hour shift in which they serve up to 100 individuals living on the streets of downtown Toronto or in precarious housing situations. Volunteers distribute food, coffee, clothing, hygiene supplies, and most importantly, provide some conversation and companionship. 

What is a shift like?

You arrive at the office at 6 pm and the outreach worker will ask you to help with important tasks for the shift ahead. This can involve such things as making sandwiches and carrying supplies out to the van. The outreach worker provides you with an orientation for the evening. Then you and the other volunteers and outreach worker head out on the shift! While you are helping to serve coffee and food and distributing supplies, you will have a chance to get to chat with people–some regulars, some new–who are served by the van program, while the outreach worker attends to client needs. 

Where and when do I volunteer?

The MJRH outreach van goes out on the streets of Toronto:

Monday: 6 pm – 12 am

Tuesday: 6 pm – 12 am

Wednesday: 6 pm – 12 am

Thursday: 6 pm – 11 pm (Young Riders shift)

Saturday: 6 pm – 12 am

Sunday: 12 noon – 6pm (Young Riders shift)

Volunteers begin and end their shift at Ve’ahavta’s office, 200-D Bridgeland Ave (near Yorkdale Mall). 

How do I book a volunteer shift?

Register through our volunteer portal here.

How old do I have to be to volunteer?

You must be over the age of 12 to volunteer on the outreach van. However, there are special requirements for volunteers who are under 18. See below for information about our Young Riders program. 

If you are under the age of 12 and want to be involved with Ve’ahavta’s hands-on tikun olam activities, we encourage you to support the MJRH outreach van through our Ve’ahavta Cookbook and Drive to Survive programs. You can also book a Tikun Workshop and/or a Speaker’s Bureau presenter for your school or youth group. 

I have been on the van and want to do even more!

You can support Ve’ahavta through volunteering with the Meal Box program, the Ve’ahavta Cookbook,, Drive to Survive and more. You can also bring the learning you experienced to your own community through Tikun Workshops and/or a Speaker’s Bureau presenter. Most crucially, you can organize a fundraiser with your community, place of work or school or make a donation to support our vital work.

To sign up, contact our Volunteer Services Coordinator, Ruth Hart, at: volunteerinfo@veahavta.org 416.964.7698 ext 216

I volunteered with my daughter (age 12) as part of your Mobile Jewish Response to Homelessness program. We worked with your staff person André who was incredibly kind, charming and well informed about your program and how we could contribute. My daughter was a bit anxious about what the day was going to be like and André provided an orientation that was so accessible, compassionate and practical. We helped approximately 25 individuals and the experience went very smoothly and we were able to provide food and clothing to lots of people in deplorable weather and it was very appreciated by the clients.
– Fiona MacCool, MJRH volunteer

Learn more about Mobile Jewish Response to Homelessness

Young Rider Programs

12-17 year olds and their parents/guardians

Due to scheduling, safety, and other concerns, all volunteering with the MJRH outreach van is limited to people who are at least 12 years old. Unfortunately, no exceptions can be made. 

Ve’ahavta has three programs for 12-15 year olds to volunteer with the MJRH outreach van:

  1. Ve’ahavta’s B’nai Mitzvah program for young people celebrating their B’nai Mitzvah year.
  2. The TikunGen program which compliments the van shift with an educational orientation program for 14-15 year olds.
  3. Synagogue Partnership program for members of participating synagogues. Please contact your synagogue to see if this option is available to you.
When do Young Rider outreach van shifts take place?

Young Riders can only volunteer on Thursday evenings (6-11pm) and Sunday afternoons (12-6pm).

What makes a Young Rider shift different than any other shift?

Young Riders and their parent/guardian will not only be helping to distribute food, coffee, clothing, hygiene supplies, and conversation, they will also have the opportunity to participate in a digital learning program. This program focuses on homelessness and on intersecting issues of poverty and systemic oppression. Young Riders will also learn about advocacy and have the opportunity to make their voices heard.

I’m 16-17 years old - what about me?

Volunteers ages 16-17 can volunteer on any shift, but must be accompanied by a parent/guardian.

Can my parent/guardian volunteer with me?

Yes, in fact all youth volunteers, age 12-17, must be accompanied by one parent/guardian during the full length of their shift.

Can my sibling(s) come too?

Yes, if your sibling is 12 years of age or older. If your sibling is between the ages of 12-15 they also must be part of one of the three Young Rider programs.

These programs and fees didn’t exist when my older child volunteered with Ve’ahavta-what has changed?

Ve’ahavta’s programs have grown to meet the needs of our clients and to better serve our Young Riders, and there are program fees to support the running of these educational activities. We understand that this is a change from what has existed in the past. Please reach out if the fees would be a barrier to participating in our programs. Our B’nai Mitzvah, Synagogue Partnership, and TikunGen programs have enabled us to enhance the volunteer experience for our Young Riders, making their time on the van more impactful.

We encourage all MJRH outreach van volunteers to donate as able to support the vital services of the MJRH outreach van and the broader work of Ve’ahavta.  

 

Ve’ahavta Street Academy

Be part of the transformation.

The Ve’ahavta Street Academy (VSA) is a free, essential life skills course that is offered several times per year. The program aims to inspire individuals marginalized by poverty to pursue further educational programs, find gainful employment or other meaningful opportunities. Volunteer facilitators offer 2.5 hour workshops based on their areas of expertise which meet the requirements of the curriculum. 

Can I do it?

If you have the drive to help others through education, then yes!

Where do we meet?

Classes are usually held at the George Brown College Casa Loma campus. 

When do I go?

Classes are held Tuesday – Thursday 9:30am-12:00pm and 1:00pm-3:30pm

Learn more about Ve’ahavta Street Academy

Behind the Scenes (Administrative Support)

Where the action is really at.

Our dedicated administrative team can often use the support of volunteers for such tasks as alpha/numeric data entry, answering phones, filing, mailing, and other administrative tasks.

Can I do it?

If you’ve got basic (or superb) numeric and office skills, major attention to detail, and can work well independently and in a lively (OK, sometimes chaotic) environment – you are our kind of administrative support!

Where do we meet?

Ve’ahavta head office: 200 Bridgeland Ave, Unit D (Dufferin & 401)

When do I go?

1-2 days/week (5-6 hours per day, flexible schedule within regular business hours). Minimum 3 month commitment.

Fundraising

Money makes charities go ‘round.

Without dedicated volunteers who understand the need for fundraising support, it would be very difficult to do what we do. Fundraising volunteer opportunities range from making solicitation telephone calls, securing corporate sponsorships, or planning a fundraising event or initiative. Fundraising does not have to be knocking on doors or making cold calls – it can be fun, exciting and truly rewarding.

Can I do it?

If you have drive and enjoy opening doors of opportunity, you can fundraise. No minimum or maximum age required

Where do we meet?

Depending on the fundraising initiative you are working on, you may be at the Ve’ahavta office or working remotely on your own time.

When do I go?

Generally, timing is flexible but if in-office it would be during regular business hours.

Events

Where the party’s at

Starry Nights is Ve’ahavta’s main annual gala event, however, other events occur throughout the year as well. Volunteers support event logistics from the planning stage to implementation. Event volunteers typically help with set up, greeting guests, serving food and generally bringing the spirit of the event alive!

Can I do it?

Do you have comfortable shoes and a fun spirit? Events are a great way to volunteer with friends or family in a fun and lively environment, and connect with others all while engaging in Tikun Olam.

Where do we meet?

Various Locations.

When do I go?

Starry Nights typically takes place in November each year. Other events are scheduled on various dates. Please inquire for more details on upcoming events.

Drive to Survive (Supply Drives for People who are Homeless)

Jackets, Mittens, Socks…Oh My!

We are confident there are thousands of garments gathering dust in closets that have the potential to save lives. Yes, save lives! Ve’ahavta relies on the local community to ensure that we have the supplies needed for our homeless clients to survive the elements on the streets of Toronto. Volunteers coordinate a supply drive by engaging family, friends and other community members to donate gently used items which will be distributed by Ve’ahavta through our Mobile Jewish Response to Homelessness outreach van program.

Can I do it?

We need you! Anyone can initiate a supply drive within their school, neighborhood or community. And we can help!

Where do we meet?

Supply drives can take place at any location of your choice. We are happy to coordinate transportation of the items to our head office at 200 Bridgeland Ave Unit D (Dufferin & 401). 

When do I go?

How about now? (just kidding).The need for clothing is increased throughout the winter months, but we accept items all year-round (Please connect with us as we are sometimes in urgent need of specific items).

Learn more about the Drive to Survive initiative, and our wish list

B’nai Mitzvah

Time for tikun olam in a big way.

The Ve’ahavta B’nai Mitzvah program encompasses lessons about charitable giving, hands-on volunteerism and the exploration of the Jewish values that underscore what it means to become a bar/bat mitzvah. The program runs on a rolling basis throughout the year so you can join at any point of your B’nai Mitzvah year. You can register for the program and pay the $180 registration fee below.

Find out more!

Can I do it?

Are you planning a Bar or Bat Mitzvah? Then, yes!

Where do we meet?

You can start by meeting with a Ve’ahavta representative on the phone or in person to discuss the specific options and design your B’nai Mitzvah experience from there.

When do I go?

As soon as you’re ready, reach out! We can’t wait to hear from you.

Learn more about B’nai Mitzvah

Corporate Giving Program

Teams that give together, stick together (and increase profit, by the way)

Ve’ahavta’s Corporate program supports the building of socially responsible teams in the workplace. A powerful morale-booster and team-building exercise, volunteers engage in hands-on volunteer opportunities and raise funds collectively for a chosen program. This may also include an engaging lunch and learn discussion on a variety of topics, including homelessness, Indigenous issues and social responsibility.

Can I do it?

Big or small, any team can benefit from meaningful engagement. Give us a call to discuss various options.

Where do we meet?

Either at your place of work, the Ve’ahavta office, or the streets of downtown Toronto.

When do I go?

Timing is flexible depending on the chosen program and your team’s availability.

Learn more about Ve’ahavta’s
Corporate Giving Program.

Tikun Olam Community Passover Seder

Hungry for more?

Our unique and interactive Seder allows people of all faiths to come together in order to recall this historic biblical event which teaches us about bravery, faith and ultimate freedom. We take this opportunity in the Jewish calendar to unite as a community and to remind ourselves that the comparable atrocities of today are completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated by any of us!

The telling of the Passover story is accompanied by live music, thought-provoking questions and discussions, activities for children, gifts for all attendees, and a warm and delicious 3-course meal served by our very own wonderful and friendly volunteers.

Can I do it?

Yes! (most likely) Volunteers of all ages are welcome. Under 16 years old must be accompanied by a parent or guardian

Where do we meet?

The Seder typically takes place at a synagogue in the GTA (please inquire for further details)

When do I go?

The Seder is usually held on the THIRD night of Passover (so no need to disappoint family or friends – you can do it all!)

Learn more about the Tikun Olam Community Passover Seder

Meal Box Volunteers

Providing tasty and nourishing meals to those in need.

The Meal Box Program is an initiative offering healthy meals to chronically homeless individuals as part of our Mobile Jewish Response to Homelessness (MJRH) outreach van program. Meals will be prepared and packaged by the Kitchen Coordinator and volunteer teams Monday-Wednesday and Friday each week.

This role is ideal for someone looking to have a meaningful and regular volunteer commitment. Open to corporate, friends and family groups.

All volunteers must be aged 16 & older

Learn more about the Meal Box Program Volunteer Opportunities

 

To volunteer with Ve’ahavta, please create an account and log into our portal. Each volunteer must make their own profile, including youth accompanied by a parent/guardian. (This is a new system; if you have volunteered before, you will need to create a new account. Thank you!) 

Register now!

If you already have an account: 

Log in here!

Have questions? Contact volunteerinfo@veahavta.org or 416-964-7698 ext 216