Transcript: Volunteers Wanted! | Dec 16, 2019

Steve sits in the studio. He's slim, clean-shaven, in his fifties, with short curly brown hair. He's wearing a gray suit, white shirt, and striped lavender tie.

A caption on screen reads "Volunteers wanted! @spaikin, @theagenda."

Steve says THEY GREET US ON
HOSPITAL WARDS.
THEY SORT CANNED GOODS INTO CARE
PACKAGES.
THEY EVEN COACH OUR KIDS IN
SOCCER AND HOCKEY.
VOLUNTEERS STEP UP, NOT FOR THE
GLORY OR THE MONEY, BUT TO HELP
OTHERS WHO NEED IT.
BUT IT'S NOT ALWAYS SO
STRAIGHTFORWARD TO OFFER YOUR
TIME.
HERE FOR MORE ON VOLUNTEERISM
TODAY, WE WELCOME:
NEIL HETHERINGTON, HE IS CEO,
DAILY BREAD FOOD BANK...

Neil is in his forties, with side-parted wavy gray hair and a full beard. He's wearing a gray suit and a checkered blue shirt.

Steve continues JOANNE McKIERNAN, EXECUTIVE
DIRECTOR, VOLUNTEER TORONTO...

Joanne is in her thirties, with long wavy chestnut hair. She's wearing a dark blue sweater.

Steve continues KATHERINE ALEXOPOULOS, DIRECTOR
OF VOLUNTEER RESOURCES
SUNNYBROOK HEALTH SCIENCES
CENTRE - A FANCY NAME FOR THE HOSPITAL...

Katherine is in her fifties, with shoulder-length wavy dark hair. She's wearing glasses, a purple blazer, black shirt and silver pendant necklace.

Steve continues AND RAFAEL GOMEZ, PROFESSOR AND
DIRECTOR OF THE CENTRE FOR
INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS AND HUMAN
RESOURCES AT THE UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO.

Rafael is in his forties, with short curly gray hair and a stubble. He's wearing glasses, a black suit, blue shirt and spotted black tie.

Steve continues WE ARE DELIGHTED TO WELCOME THE
TWO GENTS ON THE END BACK,
BECAUSE YOU'VE BEEN HERE BEFORE,
AND WE ARE DELIGHTED TO WELCOME
THE TWO LADIES HERE FOR THE
FIRST TIME.
NICE TO HAVE YOU TWO HERE.
LET US JUST SORT OF FESS UP OFF
THE TOP THAT WE'RE GOING TO
SHARE SOME NUMBERS HERE BUT
THEY'RE NOT EXACTLY WHAT YOU'D
CALL THOROUGHLY UP TO DATE.
2013 IS THE LAST TIME THAT STATS
CANADA HAS NUMBERS ON THIS FOR
VOLUNTEERING IN CANADA.
SO HERE WE GO.

A slate appears on screen, with the title "Volunteering in Canada."

Steve reads data from the slate and says 44 percent AGED 18 AND OLDER VOLUNTEER.
THAT IS DOWN 4 percent SINCE THE LAST
TIME IT WAS RECORDED AND FOR
COMPARISON, 82 percent MAKE DONATIONS
TO CHARITIES OR NOT-FOR-PROFITS.
WE'RE TALKING ABOUT TIME VERSUS MONEY.
CANADIAN VOLUNTEERING IS THE
EQUIVALENT OF ONE MILLION
FULL-TIME JOBS.
EACH VOLUNTEER WORKED AN AVERAGE
OF 154 HOURS.
66 percent OF CANADIANS BETWEEN THE
AGES OF 15 AND 19 VOLUNTEER.
THEY ARE THE COHORT MOST LIKELY
TO VOLUNTEER.
BETWEEN 15 AND 19.
CANADIANS AGE 65 TO 74
CONTRIBUTED THE MOST HOURS.
PEOPLE IN... WHAT PROVINCE, DO
YOU THINK?...
SASKATCHEWAN.
THEY VOLUNTEER THE MOST.
56 percent.
WHO VOLUNTEERS THE LEAST?
QUEBECERS.
32 percent.
ONTARIANS AS USUAL WERE
SOMEWHERE IN THE MIDDLE, 44 percent.
JOANNE, I WANT TO GET YOU INTO
THIS FIRST.
GIVE US A SENSE OF THE RANGE OF
VOLUNTEERING THAT PLAYS OUT
ACROSS THE PROVINCE?

The caption changes to " says Joanne McKiernan. Volunteer Toronto."
Then, it changes again to "Who's raising their hands?"

Joanne says VOLUNTEERING IS A POWERFUL
CHARACTERISTIC OF OUR CANADIAN
IDENTITY.
ONE IN TWO GIVING UP THEIR TIME.
IT IS PRETTY UBIQUITOUS IN
SOCIETY.
I WOULD EVEN SAY THAT WE'RE
PERHAPS UNDERESTIMATING THE
POWER OF GIVING AND THE
CONTRIBUTIONS VOLUNTEERS MAKE.
THERE ARE SO MANY WAYS WE GIVE
UP OUR TIME.
CARE-GIVERS.
COACHES MAY NOT CONSIDER
THEMSELVES VOLUNTEERS.
THE LANDSCAPE IS REALLY WIDE IN
TERMS OF VOLUNTEERISM.
SENIORS, UNSURPRISINGLY, GIVE
THE VAST MAJORITY, THE MOST
NUMBER OF HOURS.

Steve says THEY HAVE FREE TIME.

Joanne says THEY HAVE FEWER RESTRICTIONS
ON THEIR TIME.
YOUTH VOLUNTEER THE MOST.
56 percent OF YOUTH IN ONTARIO AT LEAST
GIVE THEIR TIME THROUGH
VOLUNTEERING.

Steve says WELL, THEY HAVE TO.

Joanne says THEY HAVE TO.
AND FOLKS IN BETWEEN WHO HAVE
MORE STRESSES ON THEIR TIME OR
ARE IN THE CAREER-BUILDING OR
FAMILY-BUILDING PHASE HAVE A
LITTLE BIT LESS TO OFFER.

Steve says NEIL, IF I WERE TO
CALL YOU AND SAY, I WANT TO
VOLUNTEER AT THE FOOD BANK, WHAT
KIND OF STUFF DO YOU HAVE
AVAILABLE?
HOW WOULD YOU ANSWER THE
QUESTION?

The caption changes to "Neil Hetherington. Daily Bread Food Bank."

Neil says IT DEPENDS, IS HOW WE WOULD
PROBABLY ANSWER THE QUESTION.
YOU KNOW, I THINK ABOUT
VOLUNTEERING IN SORT OF TWO
AREAS, TRANSACTIONAL VOLUNTEERS,
SO THOSE INDIVIDUALS WHO COME
OUT ONCE A YEAR, THEY WANT TO
SORT SOME FOOD, THEY WANT TO
HAVE A GOOD TIME, THEY WANT TO
FEEL GOOD ABOUT THEMSELVES, AND
THEY'LL SEE YOU NEXT YEAR.
THOSE ARE OFTEN CORPORATIONS
THAT ARE COMING OUT.
MANY OF THEM PAYING FOR THE
PRIVILEGE OF VOLUNTEERING.

Steve says THEY PAY FOR THE
PRIVILEGE OF VOLUNTEERING?

Neil says SO DAILY BREAD IS SIMILAR TO
HABITAT FOR HUMANITY WHERE WE
SAY, WE HAVE SOMETHING TO OFFER.
YOU KNOW, VOLUNTEERING IS A
WONDERFUL TEAM-BUILDING
EXERCISE.
SO WE SAY IT IS A GREAT
OPPORTUNITY FOR THEM TO
CONTRIBUTE THE HOURS AND TO
CONTRIBUTE SOME FUNDS TO BE ABLE
TO MAKE THE ORGANIZATION...

Steve says AND A NICE PHOTO OP
AND THEY GET THEIR PICTURE IN
THE PAPER AND IT'S GOOD
CORPORATE... OKAY.

Neil says ABSOLUTELY.
THERE ARE THE TRANSACTIONAL
VOLUNTEERS AND ON THE OTHER SIDE
THE RELATIONAL VOLUNTEERS.
I THINK WHEN YOU LOOK AT THE
STATS THAT YOU BROUGHT UP IN
TERMS OF THOSE WHO ARE
VOLUNTEERING WHO ARE, YOU KNOW,
PLUS 65, THEY ARE INDIVIDUALS
WHO COME OUT ON A REGULAR BASIS,
EVERY MONDAY THEY ARE THERE, YOU
KNOW, TWO OR THREE DAYS A WEEK,
THEY ARE COMING OUT TO
VOLUNTEER.

Steve says WHO IS MORE
IMPORTANT TO THE OVERALL OPERATION?

The caption changes to "Neil Hetherington, @NCHetherington."

Neil says WELL, THEY'RE BOTH IMPORTANT.
THOSE WHO ARE IN THAT RELATIONAL
AREA ARE THE ONES THAT OFTEN ARE
TAKING LEADERSHIP POSITIONS IN
VOLUNTEERING.
SO THEY ARE LEADING GROUPS THAT
HAVE COME OUT.
BOTH ARE IMPORTANT.
BOTH ARE VALUED.
AND I THINK BOTH ARE
CONTRIBUTING VERY CLEARLY TO SOCIETY.

Steve says SUNNYBROOK.
THIS IS A MASSIVE ORGANIZATION.

Katherine says WE HAVE AT ANY ONE TIME
BETWEEN ONE THOUSAND AND 1200
VOLUNTEERS.

Steve says NOT ON ONE DAY...

Katherine says THROUGHOUT THE YEAR.
OUR STATS 2018, WE HAD
APPROXIMATELY 1750 INDIVIDUALS
VOLUNTEER DURING THAT YEAR.

Steve says HOLY COW.

Katherine says THAT ACCOUNTS FOR SOME OF THE TURNOVER THAT WE SEE.

Steve says WHAT DO THEY DO?

The caption changes to "Katherine Alexopoulos. Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre."

Katherine says THEY DO A WIDE VARIETY OF
THINGS.
SUNNYBROOK IS A MULTI-SITE
FACILITY.
WE HAVE VOLUNTEERS ON OUR
CANVASS CENTRE, VOLUNTEER
CENTRE, PROVIDING SUPPORT TO THE
LONG-TERM CARE RESIDENTS,
VOLUNTEERS IN OUR ST. JOHN'S
REHAB SITE, OUR ORTHOPEDIC AND
ARTHRITIC SITE.
EVERYTHING FROM WORKING IN THE
GIFT SHOP SUPPORTING LOVED ONES
IN SURGERY, PEOPLE WITH PEER
SUPPORT, PEOPLE WITH LIVED
EXPERIENCE, PROVIDING SUPPORT TO
HEART PATIENTS, MENTAL HEALTH
PATIENTS, 50-PLUS DIFFERENT
ROLES FOR VOLUNTEERS AT
SUNNYBROOK.

Steve says HAS ANYBODY AT THE
HOSPITAL EVER PUT A DOLLAR VALUE
ON WHAT ALL THAT VOLUNTEERING
REPRESENTS?

Katherine says A COUPLE OF MILLION DOLLARS...

Steve says A COUPLE OF MILLION BUCKS.

Katherine says A COUPLE OF MILLION BUCKS A YEAR.

Steve says THAT'S REAL MONEY.
HOW INDISPENSABLE IS IT TO THE
SMOOTH OPERATION OF THE FACILITY?

Katherine says I BELIEVE VOLUNTEERISM IS
PART OF THE CULTURE OF THE
HOSPITAL, THE FABRIC OF.
CAN THE HOSPITAL SURVIVE
WITHOUT?
PROBABLY.
WOULD IT BE THE SAME?
PROBABLY NOT.
VOLUNTEERISM IS A HUGE PART OF I
THINK ALMOST EVERY HOSPITAL IN
THE PROVINCE OF ONTARIO.

Steve says OKAY.
YOU FOLKS ARE MORE ON THE
GROUND.
NOW WE'VE GOT A GUY FROM U OF T
HERE WHO IS GOING TO GIVE US THE
VIEW FROM 35,000 FEET.
I THINK WE'RE TOLD THESE DAYS
THERE HAS BEEN A NOTICEABLE DIP
IN THE AMOUNT OF VOLUNTEERING
TAKING PLACE OR THE VOLUNTEER
RATE, AND I WONDER HOW... LET'S
PUT IT THIS WAY: HOW HAS THE
RISE OF PRECARIOUS WORK IN OUR
SOCIETY AFFECTED VOLUNTEERISM?

The caption changes to "Rafael Gomez. University of Toronto."
Then, it changes again to "Precarious work, precarious giving?"

Rafael says YEAH, YEAH.
THAT'S ACTUALLY AN EXCELLENT WAY
OF FRAMING IT BECAUSE NEIL'S
POINT EARLIER ABOUT THE
TRANSACTIONAL AND THE
RELATIONAL, JUST TO... A
DIFFERENT WAY OF SAYING THERE IS
ECONOMIC MOTIVES SOMETIMES FOR
VOLUNTEERING, AND THERE ARE THE
SOCIAL, PRO-SOCIAL, RELIGIOUS,
MORAL REASONS, WE WOULD ARGUE,
OR COMMUNITY-BUILDING.
INSOFAR AS THERE'S AN ECONOMIC
COMPONENT TO VOLUNTEERING, IF
YOU WERE UNABLE, IN TERMS OF THE
STRUCTURE OF YOUR LABOUR MARKET
SITUATION, TO FIND THE HOURS TO
DEDICATE, SCHEDULE TIME, THERE'S
GOING TO BE A LINK BETWEEN THE
LABOUR MARKET AND VOLUNTEERING.
SO IF YOU HAVE AN ON-CALL KIND
OF PRECARIOUS SITUATION IN TERMS
OF YOUR LABOUR MARKET SITUATION,
YOU'RE NOT THINKING OF
VOLUNTEERING, AND THERE'S A DUAL
REASON FOR THAT TOO.
SORT OF RESEARCH WE'VE DONE IN
THE PAST ON WHAT MOTIVATES
VOLUNTEERS FROM THE SAME LENS AS
YOU WOULD THINK ABOUT PEOPLE
ENGAGING IN WORK OR ENTERING THE
LABOUR MARKET, HOUSEHOLD INCOME
PLAYS A HUGE ROLE.
SO VOLUNTEERISM TENDS TO GO UP
THE HIGHER YOUR HOUSEHOLD
INCOME.
YOU CAN SORT OF AL LOCATE YOUR
TIME.
YOU'RE NOT AS STRETCHED TO MAKE
THE FINANCES AND PAY THE BILLS.

Steve says THE MORE PRECARIOUS
YOUR WORK IS THE LESS OBVIOUSLY
RELIABLE YOUR SCHEDULE IS AND
THEREFORE THE LESS YOU FEEL YOU
CAN VOLUNTEER; IS THAT HOW IT WORKS?

The caption changes to "Rafael Gomez, @CIRHR_UofT."

Rafael says IT CAN BE THAT DIRECT.
THERE'S ANOTHER LINK, WHICH IS
MORE INDIRECT, WHERE THE SOCIAL
BONDS THAT WERE ROOTED IN WORK
THAT WERE THEN TRANSLATING INTO
OPPORTUNITIES TO VOLUNTEER
OUTSIDE... I'LL GIVE YOU AN
EXAMPLE.
SO MY OWN WORK IN INDUSTRIAL
RELATIONS LOOK AT UNIONIZATION.
THAT'S ONE OF THE BIGGEST
VARIABLES.
IT'S BEEN IN DECLINE ESPECIALLY
IN THE PRIVATE SECTOR.
ONE OF THE THINGS WE NOTICE IS
WITH THAT DECLINE IN
UNIONIZATION, THERE'S BEEN A
COMMENSURATE DECLINE IN THINGS
LIKE CIVIC ENGAGEMENT, IN
POLITICS, OR EVEN VOTING.
VOTER TURNOUT HAS BEEN ON A
SECULAR DECLINE, MIRRORING THE
PICTURE MAYBE WE'RE SEEING ABOUT
VOLUNTEERING.
IF YOU LOOK AT WHO VOLUNTEERS IN
THE WORKPLACE, IT'S USUALLY
SOMEONE WHO HAS BEEN IN A UNION
OR IS IN A UNION.
THERE'S A COMPATIBILITY BETWEEN
THOSE TWO SOCIAL INSTITUTIONS,
AND AS UNIONISM HAS DECLINED, SO
HAVE THESE ANCILLARY BEHAVIOURS
THAT FALL OUTSIDE OF WORK.
BUT THEN THERE'S A DUAL THING.
WHAT DID UNIONS PROVIDE?
STABLE WORK.
A GUARANTEED JOB.
YOU DIDN'T FEEL LIKE YOU WERE
SACRIFICING A LABOUR MARKET
OPPORTUNITY IF YOU TOOK TIME AND
ENGAGED IN SOME SOCIAL ACTIVITY
OUTSIDE OF WORK.

Steve says JOANNE, LET ME GET
YOU BACK IN HERE AND TALK ABOUT
ONE KEY DEMOGRAPHIC IN
PARTICULAR, MILLENNIALS IN
SOUTHERN ONTARIO.
DID YOU SURVEY THAT?
WHAT DID YOU FIND?

Joanne says THE INTERESTING THING THAT WE FIND IS THAT MILLENNIALS WHO ARE
EMPLOYED PRECARIOUSLY, THE VAST
MAJORITY, QUITE FRANKLY, 51 percent SAY
THEY WOULD LIKE TO GET MORE
COMMUNITY ENGAGED, THEY WANT TO
VOLUNTEER, BUT THEIR SCHEDULE,
THE CONTRACT SITUATION THEY'RE
IN MAKES IT DIFFICULT TO COMMIT
TO A VOLUNTEER POSITION...

Steve says WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?
A CONTRACT?

The caption changes to "Joanne McKiernan, @schenker_j."

Joanne says IF THEY'RE GOING FROM
CONTRACT TO CONTRACT, FOR
EXAMPLE, THEY DON'T KNOW HOW
LONG THEY'RE GOING TO BE IN ONE
PLACE OR COMMIT TO AN
ORGANIZATION, THEN THEY DON'T OR
THEY CAN'T.
10 percent OF THEIR COUNTERPARTS WHO
HAVE FULL-TIME EMPLOYMENT REPORT
THE SAME THING, THAT THEY'RE
UNABLE TO COMMIT OR DON'T
VOLUNTEER.
I THINK THAT'S A PRETTY STARK
REALITY.
WHEN WE THINK ABOUT THAT
GENERATION SORT OF MOVING
THROUGH THEIR JOURNEY WITH
VOLUNTEERISM, IT'S STARTLING AND
IT'S CONCERNING.

Steve says SO IT'S VERY MUCH
REFLECTIVE OF WHAT RAFAEL JUST SAID.

Joanne says ABSOLUTELY.

Steve says KATHERINE, YOU'VE
BEEN LEADING A VOLUNTEER
DEPARTMENT FOR HOW MANY YEARS?

Katherine says ALMOST 30.

Steve says ALMOST 30 YEARS.
GOOD FOR YOU.
HOW HAVE THE GENERATIONS
DIFFERED IN TERMS OF THEIR
COMMITMENT?

The caption changes to "Connect with us: Twitter: @theagenda; Facebook, agendaconnect@tvo.org, Instagram."

Katherine says I THINK WE HAVE SEEN... I
KNOW WE'VE SEEN TRENDS THAT ARE
ALIGNED WITH GENERATIONAL
DIFFERENCES AND CHARACTERISTICS.
HAVING SAID THAT, THOUGH, WE
STILL SEE, AT LEAST IN THE
HOSPITAL SECTOR, EVERYTHING FROM
YOUTH TO SENIORS TO NEW
CANADIANS, FOREIGN-TRAINED
HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS
LOOKING TO GET SOME CANADIAN
EXPERIENCE, NEW IMMIGRANTS TO
CANADA TRYING TO BECOME ENGAGED
WITHIN THE COMMUNITY.
SO WE DO SEE THAT DIVERSITY.
WE ALSO, THOUGH, HAVE SEEN A
TREND TOWARDS EPISODIC
VOLUNTEERING, SHORTER-TERM
COMMITMENT, HIGHER TURNOVER, SO
PEOPLE AREN'T STARTING AND
STAYING WITH AN ORGANIZATION FOR
10, 20, 30 YEARS.
THAT HAS AN IMPACT ON THE WORK
OF THE VOLUNTEER RESOURCES.

Steve says I BET YOU DO HAVE
SOME OF THOSE FOLKS, RIGHT?

Katherine says WE HAVE ALL KINDS OF FOLKS.

Steve says HOW LONG...

Katherine says THE LONGEST SERVING VOLUNTEER
NOW IS 52 YEARS.

Steve says SOMEONE HAS
VOLUNTEERED FOR 52 STRAIGHT YEARS?

Katherine says AT SUNNYBROOK.

Steve says HOW OLD ARE THEY?

Katherine says LATE 80s.

Joanne says OH, WOW.

Katherine says ROUGHLY, I WOULD THINK, YEAH.

Steve says THAT'S PRETTY COOL.

Katherine says WE HAVE LONG SERVICE AND
PEOPLE WHO ARE WITH US 6 MONTHS
A YEAR AND EVERYTHING IN
BETWEEN.

Steve says GIVEN THE STATE OF
THE ECONOMY, NEIL, IS THE
VOLUNTEER THAT YOU HAVE IN
EFFECT GETTING THEIR FIRST JOB
WITH YOU, EVEN THOUGH IT'S A
VOLUNTEER POSITION?

Neil says I THINK THERE'S DEFINITELY
CONNECTIONS THAT HAPPEN WHEN
PEOPLE VOLUNTEER.
THEY ARE ABLE... YOU KNOW, WHEN
WE HAVE GROUPS COMING OUT FROM
DIFFERENT CORPORATIONS, AND
THOSE VOLUNTEERS ARE ABLE TO
WORK ALONGSIDE, YOU KNOW, THE
HEAD OF MARKETING OR THE CEO OF
A DIFFERENT COMPANY, THEN
THEY'RE GETTING A ONE-DAY
ENGAGEMENT WITH THAT PERSON AND
PERHAPS A BIT OF A JOB
INTERVIEW.
THEY'RE EXPANDING THEIR SOCIAL
NETWORK, AND I THINK... YOU
KNOW, IT'S VERY POSITIVE FOR
BOTH.
SO PEOPLE DO THAT.
I COMPLETELY AGREE ON THE
PRECARIOUS EMPLOYMENT ASPECT.
AS PRECARIOUS EMPLOYMENT RISES,
ONE IN FOUR ONTARIANS FACE
PRECARIOUS EMPLOYMENT, ONE IN
FOUR WORKERS, AND SO, YOU KNOW,
DOES A SINGLE PARENT WITH A
COUPLE OF KIDS HAVE THE TIME TO
BE ABLE TO VOLUNTEER?
AND THE ANSWER UNFORTUNATELY IS
NO.
AND WE ALSO KNOW THAT
VOLUNTEERISM IS A GENERATIONAL
THING.
IT'S PASSED DOWN FROM ONE
GENERATION TO THE OTHER.
AND IF PARENTS ARE NOT
DEMONSTRATING A BEHAVIOUR, THAT
IT IS A GOOD THING TO VOLUNTEER,
THEN I'M QUITE CONCERNED ABOUT
WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN
DOWNSTREAM WHEN THOSE, YOU KNOW,
COME ALONG AND HAVE THE TIME TO
BE ABLE TO VOLUNTEER.

Steve says MIND YOU, I WONDER,
JOANNE, IF IT WORKS THE OTHER
WAY AS WELL, WHEREBY HIGH SCHOOL
STUDENTS HAVE TO VOLUNTEER...
WHAT IS IT?...
40 HOURS OVER THE COURSE OF
THEIR HIGH SCHOOL CAREER.
SO THEY'RE OBLIGED TO DO IT.
THEY HAVE TO DO IT.

Joanne says ABSOLUTELY.

Steve says AND I WONDER IF THAT
EXAMPLE ACTUALLY GOES UPSTREAM
AS WELL, THAT THEIR PARENTS SEE
THEIR CHILDREN VOLUNTEERING AND
THINK MAYBE I'VE GOT TO GET IN
THERE TOO.

The caption changes to "Getting your 40 hours."

Joanne says I CAN SPEAK TO MY OWN ACTUAL
EXPERIENCE, ALTHOUGH ANECDOTAL,
AND SAY I WAS PART OF THE FIRST
COHORT OF STUDENTS WHO HAD TO DO
MANDATORY VOLUNTEERING, AND IT
WAS COMPLETELY FOREIGN IN MY
FAMILY.
MY PARENTS WERE KIND OF
CONCERNED, HOW DO WE HELP YOU DO
THIS?
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
AND IT CREATED A CULTURE OF
VOLUNTEERISM THAT PERMEATED
THROUGH MY OWN FAMILY.

Steve says SO YOU LIKE THE EXPERIENCE.

Joanne says I LIKE THE EXPERIENCE.
NOW PROFESSIONALLY I'M LEADING
CANADA'S LARGEST VOLUNTEER
CENTRE AND THAT SEED WAS
PLANTED, ABSOLUTELY, BACK IN 1999.

Steve says I WOULD LIKE
RAFAEL'S ACADEMIC VIEW ON THE
ADVISABILITY OF THIS KIND OF,
YOU'RE BEING VOLUNTOLD,
MANDATORY VOLUNTEERING.

Rafael says I THINK IT CAN GO BOTH WAYS.
IN THE CASE THAT WAS JUST
MENTIONED, HAVING NO PRIOR
EXPERIENCE OR CONTACT IN THE
VOLUNTEERING SPHERE, THIS
PROVIDES THE FIRST CONTACT, THE
EXPERIENCE YOU HAD, ALTHOUGH
ANECDOTAL, WOULD FIT WITH WHAT
HAPPENED.
I WOULD THINK, THOUGH... THERE
HASN'T BEEN ACTUALLY A PROPER,
THAT I COULD FIND, STUDY DONE OF
THAT GENERATIONAL COHORT AND
SERIES OF COHORTS THAT HAVE BEEN
AFFECTED COMPARING TO THE ONES
PRIOR TO TO SEE IF AT ANY GIVEN
STAGE ALONG THE AGE LIFE CYCLE
DID THAT EXPERIENCE SORT OF BUMP
UP, YOU KNOW, YOUR PROCLIVITY TO
VOLUNTEER THROUGHOUT YOUR LIFE
BECAUSE OF THAT EXPERIENCE.
IT PROBABLY WOULD COME DOWN TO
HOW THE VOLUNTEERING WAS
STRUCTURED.
I MEAN, IF IT'S A JOB PLACEMENT,
WHICH OFTENTIMES THE PROGRAM HAS
SORT OF MANIFESTED INTO, YOU'RE
PUT INTO A COMPANY, YOU'RE DOING
BASICALLY UNPAID WORK AS OPPOSED
TO WORKING IN A TRULY SORT OF
VOLUNTEER SPACE THAT'S MORE
DESIGNED THAT WAY, IT CAN PLAY
OUT DIFFERENTLY.
BUT IT STILL HAS POSITIVE
EFFECTS.
PEOPLE WHO HAVE NEVER HAD A
LABOUR MARKET EXPERIENCE, IT'S
OFTEN A SIGNAL THAT YOU ARE ABLE
TO WORK WITH OTHERS, YOU'RE
WILLING TO WORK AND ADAPT TO NEW
SITUATIONS.
IT'S NOT A BAD STEPPING STONE TO
A FORMAL JOB.

Joanne says IT CREATES A LOT OF...

Steve says PLEASE.

Joanne says IT CREATES A LOT OF TANGIBLE
AND INTANGIBLE ASSETS.
YOU'RE BUILDING YOUR NETWORK.
YOU'RE MAYBE GETTING YOUR FIRST
EXPERIENCE OF A PROFESSIONAL
ENVIRONMENT, YOU'RE MAKING
FRIENDS... YOU CAN'T
UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF
SOCIAL CONNECTION, YOU MAY BE
GETTING ACCESS TO TRANSIT, YOU
MAY BE GETTING ACCESS TO FOOD.
SO THE BENEFITS ARE REALLY WIDE
FOR VOLUNTEERISM IN GENERAL, BUT
THAT ENVIRONMENT OF LEARNING
THAT IT CREATES OUTSIDE OF THE
EDUCATIONAL ENVIRONMENT I THINK
IS REALLY IMPORTANT.

Steve says I'M GUESSING THERE
ARE LOTS OF PEOPLE... LOTS OF
HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS WHO
VOLUNTEER AT THE HOSPITAL...

Katherine says THERE ARE.

Steve says AND I WONDER WHETHER
THEY DO IT BECAUSE THEY HAVE TO
DO IT AND THEN A SEED IS PLANTED
AND THEY KEEP GOING, OR THEY DO
IT BECAUSE THEY'VE GOT TO DO IT?

Katherine says WE HAVEN'T EXPERIENCED THAT
MUCH MAINLY BECAUSE OUR
HOSPITAL, AND I THINK MOST
HOSPITALS, HAVE HAD A
WELL-ESTABLISHED YOUTH VOLUNTEER
PROGRAM PRIOR TO WHAT I CALL THE
OXYMORON OF VOLUNTEER
VOLUNTEERING.
FOR US WHEN WAS IMPLEMENTED, WE
SPENT TIME WEEDING OUT THOSE WHO
DIDN'T FILL THE REQUIREMENTS
THAT WE ALREADY HAD IN PLACE AT
THE HOSPITAL.
STUDENTS WHO VOLUNTEER AT THE
HOSPITAL TEND TO BE MOTIVATED BY
AN INTEREST IN HEALTH CARE,
POSSIBLE, YOU KNOW, CAREER
EXPLORATION, SOMETIMES IT'S
BECAUSE THEIR PARENTS WORK THERE
AND THEY'RE MAKING THEM
VOLUNTEER, BUT MOSTLY IT'S
MOTIVATED BY THAT INTEREST.

Steve says AS OPPOSED TO JUST
GETTING THEIR HOURS.

Katherine says JUST GETTING THEIR HOURS JUST
BECAUSE I THINK OVER TIME YOUTH
HAVE REALIZED THAT HOSPITALS
AREN'T NECESSARILY THE PLACE TO
GO TO IF THEY ONLY WISH TO DO
THE 40 HOURS.

Rafael says AND YOU CAN DESTROY A TRUE
INTRINSIC MOTIVATION IF YOU
OVERLAY THE PURE INSTRUMENTAL
PARK.
THE VERY FAMOUS TED TALK THAT
BARRY SWARTZ HAS GIVEN ABOUT
THIS DEMISE OF WISDOM.
YOU ASK PEOPLE TO DO IT
VOLUNTEER, THEY'RE WILLING TO DO
IT, OR YOU PUT A PRICE ON IT OR
EXPECTATION OF A TANGIBLE
REWARD, THEY'RE LESS LIKELY TO
DO IT.
I THINK YOU HAVE TO BE CAREFUL
IN THE VOLUNTEERING SPACE NOT TO
DAMAGE THOSE INTRINSIC MOTIVES
THAT BRING PEOPLE TO THE TABLE
OR DAMAGE OR CORRUPT THEM BY
SAYING THIS IS ONLY DONE FOR AN
INSTRUMENTAL REASON IN ORDER TO
GET A JOB OR TO FIND A LABOUR
MARKET OPPORTUNITY SOLELY.

Steve says CAN I JUST
UNDERSTAND THAT.
ARE YOU SAYING THEN THAT HIGH
SCHOOLS IN ONTARIO SHOULD NOT BE
FORCING THE 40 HOURS ON HIGH
SCHOOL STUDENTS?

Rafael says NO.
I THINK WE HAVE TO STUDY IT MORE
BROADLY BECAUSE YOU HAVE THESE
CONTRASTING POTENTIAL
EXPERIENCES.
YOU HAVE TO ON BALANCE WEIGH
WHAT IS THE BENEFIT AND THE COST
OF IT.
I'M SAYING OVERALL, THERE'S BEEN
A TENDENCY IN OUR SOCIETY TO
INSTRUMENTALLIZE EVERYTHING,
MAKE IT A CAUSE AND EFFECT TO DO
SOMETHING IN ORDER TO GET
SOMETHING.
AND THAT'S PERVASIVE, AND SORT
OF LIKE IT'S BEEN TALKED ABOUT
THESE MOTIVES IN THE MARKET
INTRUDE THOSE FROM THE
NON-MARKET, AND IF YOU MIX THEM
UP TOGETHER YOU CAN DAMAGE THE
THING THAT WAS ONCE DONE FOR A
REASON THAT WAS TRULY INTERNAL...

Joanne says I THINK THE CONNECTION
BECOMES IMPORTANT.
INSTEAD OF PLACING THE POLICY OR
SETTING YOUTH ON THEIR WAY AND
HOPE THEY'LL FIGURE OUT THE
RIGHT PATH FOR VOLUNTEERISM TO
THEMSELVES, CONNECTING
ORGANIZATIONS LIKE OURS AND THE
SUPPORT IN SCHOOLS TO HELP YOUTH
REFLECT, REALLY, WHAT DO YOU
WANT TO GET OUT OF THE
EXPERIENCE?
WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO LEARN?
WHAT ARE YOUR ASPIRATIONS?
WHAT ARE YOUR MOTIVATIONS?
HELPING TO CONNECT THEM TO A
WIDE SCOPE OF ORGANIZATIONS.

Steve says LET ME GET YOU HERE
ON THIS ISSUE.
I'VE ALSO HEARD OF NUMEROUS
EXAMPLES OF PEOPLE WHO WANTED TO
VOLUNTEER BUT WHEN THEY SAW THE
HOOPS THEY HAD TO JUMP THROUGH,
THEY THOUGHT BETTER OF IT, AND
I'M TALKING ABOUT SECURITY
CHECKS AND IT STARTS WITH THAT
AND THE LIST GETS ENDLESS AFTER THAT.
HOW PROBLEMATIC IS THAT?

The caption changes to "Making it harder to help."

Neil says WELL, I THINK THAT IF
INDIVIDUALS ARE ON BOARDS OF
DIRECTORS, THEY ARE CONSTANTLY
LOOKING AT, HOW DO WE MITIGATE RISK?
SO THEY WILL... THEY WILL TAKE
EVERY PRECAUTION AVAILABLE.
NOT AT THE SAME TIME LOOKING AT
HOW CAN WE GROW A PROGRAM IN
THAT CONSTRAINT.
THEY'RE VERY WORRIED ABOUT WHAT
COULD HAPPEN.
AND SO THERE'S A BALANCING ACT
THAT NEEDS TO HAPPEN.
I THINK WE PROBABLY HAVE GONE A
LITTLE TOO FAR IN TERMS OF THE
HOOPS THAT WE HAVE CREATED.
YOU KNOW, THERE ARE MANY
ORGANIZATIONS THAT REQUIRE
RESUMES AND INTERVIEWS TO BE
ABLE TO GO OUT AND TO DO SOME
VERY SORT OF SIMPLE TASKS.
EVERY ONCE IN A WHILE I THINK
THERE NEEDS TO BE A PAUSE AND
JUST ASK THE QUESTION: IS THIS
REALLY HELPING?
IS THIS REALLY ADDING VALUE TO
THAT PERSON'S EXPERIENCE.

Steve says DO YOU THINK YOU'RE
TURNING OFF GOOD PEOPLE?

Neil says YEAH, ABSOLUTELY, WITHOUT A
DOUBT, YOU KNOW.
AND I UNDERSTAND THE
MOTIVATIONS, TO WANT TO DO THAT,
BUT I THINK IT JUST HAS TO BE ON
BALANCE.

Steve says WHAT DO YOU THINK
ABOUT THAT?

Joanne says I THINK SCREENING IS AN
IMPORTANT PART ON THE VOLUNTARY
SECTOR.
THAT DOESN'T JUST MEAN POLICE
CHECKS AND RESUMES.
IT'S BEEN CREATING REALLY
MEANINGFUL POSITIONS FOR
VOLUNTEERS, IT'S ABOUT HAVING A
PROCESS THAT'S FAIR AND
EQUITABLE, IT'S ABOUT MAKING
SURE THAT THEY'RE TRAINED AND
SUPPORTED AND SUPERVISED, AND
LIKE YOU SAY, CRITICALLY ASKING
AT EVERY STEP IS THIS A
NECESSARY LAYER TO MEET CONCERN
ABOUT RISK, TO ENSURE THAT
CLIENTS ARE PROTECTED, TO ENSURE
THAT INDIVIDUALS ARE ENCOURAGED
AND INSPIRED TO VOLUNTEER?
WE ECHO THAT MESSAGE: THINK
CRITICALLY.
DO I NEED THIS PART OF THE
PROCESS IN PLACE TO PROTECT
CLIENTS AND VOLUNTEERS.

The caption changes to "Watch us anytime: tvo.org, Twitter: @theagenda, Facebook Live, YouTube."

Steve says CAN WE DO A FOR
INSTANCE HERE?

Joanne says SURE.

Steve says IF SOMEONE WANTS TO
DO FILING FOR TWO HOURS ON A
FRIDAY AFTERNOON, SHOULD THEY
BE... I DON'T KNOW, YOU TELL ME.
SHOULD THEY NEED A POLICE CHECK?

Joanne says ABSOLUTELY.
THE POLICE CHECK IS IMPORTANT
WHEN YOU HAVE INDIVIDUALS
WORKING WITH CLIENTS ON THEIR
OWN OR VULNERABLE POPULATIONS.
THAT'S THE BARRIER.
THAT'S THE BAR TO THINK ABOUT.
ARE YOU WORKING WITH YOUTH?
ARE YOU WORKING WITH INDIVIDUALS
WHO ARE INFIRM.

Steve says WHAT IF YOU'RE
STACKING CANS AT THE DAILY BREAD?

Joanne says WE HAVE TO THINK IN THAT
CONTEXT, WHAT'S THE ENVIRONMENT?
COULD SOMEBODY BE WORKING WITH A
CLIENT OR IN AND AROUND A CLIENT?

Neil says THEN I WOULD SAY, YOU'VE GOT
TO SCREEN BASED ON THE POSITION.
JUST BECAUSE SOMEBODY IS IN A
WAREHOUSE WHERE THERE MIGHT BE A
CLIENT, I'M NOT SURE IS
NECESSARILY REQUIRING A POLICE
CHECK.
IN THAT CASE, WE'D HAVE 11,000
VOLUNTEERS SCREENED EVERY SINGLE
YEAR.
YOU KNOW, IF YOU WANTED TO GO
SWING A HAMMER WITH HABITAT FOR
HUMANITY TOMORROW, YOU SHOULD BE
ABLE TO JUST GO ONLINE, SCHEDULE
YOUR TIME, AND GO HAVE A GOOD
TIME DOING THAT.
AND THEN AS THAT RELATIONSHIP
DEVELOPS, YOU START TO GET MORE
ENTRENCHED WITH THE ORGANIZATION
AND MAYBE YOU GO INTO DIFFERENT
POSITIONS WHICH REQUIRE YOU TO
BE IN THE OFFICE AND, YOU KNOW,
SCREEN MORE HEAVILY IF YOU'RE
TOUCHING SOME OF THE FINANCIALS
AS AN EXAMPLE.

Steve says BUT I DON'T KNOW,
CAN SOMEBODY TELL US WHETHER OR
NOT, IF YOU HAVE A CRIMINAL
RECORD AND YOU'VE DONE YOUR
TIME, YOU'VE PAID YOUR DEBT TO
SOCIETY, ARE YOU NOW PROHIBITED
FROM EVER BEING A VOLUNTEER AGAIN?

Joanne says ABSOLUTELY NOT.
I THINK A GOOD EXAMPLE ARE FOLKS
DOING COURT-ORDERED
VOLUNTEERING.
LOTS OF ORGANIZATIONS GO THROUGH
A CRITICAL PROCESS AND, OKAY, IS
THERE ANY REAL RISK TO THE
ORGANIZATION OR OUR CLIENT?
THE ANSWER IS NO.
THEN INDIVIDUALS CAN VOLUNTEER
MEANINGFULLY AND GAIN GREAT
EXPERIENCE THAT MIGHT HELP
CATAPULT THEM UP ON THE JOB
LADDER.
SO IT'S REALLY SPECIFIC TO THE
ORGANIZATION.
THERE ARE 14,000 OF THEM IN THE
CITY OF TORONTO ALONE, THERE'S A
PLACE FOR EVERYONE.

Steve says WOULD YOU REJECT
SOMEONE WHO HAD A CRIMINAL
RECORD OUT OF HAND?

Neil says NO.
DOING COURT-ORDERED HOURS...
THERE ARE TIMES WHERE, IF YOU
ARE WITH A VULNERABLE
INDIVIDUAL, THAT IT MIGHT MAKE
SENSE THAT THERE BE A DIFFERENT
VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY FOR THAT
INDIVIDUAL.
YOU KNOW, SOME OF THE SCREENING,
WHY POLICE CHECKS ARE DONE, IS
TO GET TO KNOW THE VOLUNTEER
BETTER, AND SO IF YOU ARE
TEACHING SUNDAY SCHOOL, IT
PROBABLY MAKES SENSE THAT YOU
ENSURE THAT...

Steve says YOU'RE WITH KIDS.
THAT'S A DIFFERENT STORY, RIGHT?

Neil says ABSOLUTELY.
SO THAT IS AN APPROPRIATE SCREEN
AND CHECK AT THAT POINT.
SO IT DEPENDS ON WHAT THE TASK IS.

Rafael says IT MIGHT BE WELL TO DRAW A
LINE BETWEEN UNPAID WORK AND
VOLUNTEERING.
YOU MENTIONED EARLIER THERE WERE
NEW CANADIANS AND PEOPLE, MAYBE
THEY LEFT THE LABOUR MARKET FOR
A TIME, RAISED KIDS, COME BACK.
THOSE ARE GREAT OPPORTUNITIES TO
RE-ENGAGE WITH THE LABOUR
MARKET, BUT IT'S VOLUNTEERING
BUT IT'S ALSO DESIGNED TO
RE-ESTABLISH YOURSELF IN THE
LABOUR MARKET.
AND I WOULD SORT OF VEER THAT
MORE TOWARDS THE UNPAID WORK.
I WOULD THINK PEOPLE WHO HAVE
HAD CRIMINAL RECORDS, WHO MAYBE
HAVE LEFT THE LABOUR MARKET,
PAID THEIR TIME, ARE TRYING TO
RE-ENGAGE, SOMETHING SOCIETY
WANTS TO ENCOURAGE.
SO YOU VEER MORE TOWARDS THE
UNPAID WORK AS A STEPPING STONE
TO PAID WORK.
THAT DOESN'T DAMAGE THEN THE
INTRINSIC MOTIVATORS THAT BRING
PEOPLE TO THIS PURE, ALTRUISTIC,
WARM GLOW.
THERE IS ROOM FOR THE TWO.

Neil says THERE ARE BOARDS WHO WOULD
SAY WE DON'T WANT TO HAVE THOSE
INDIVIDUALS, AND I THINK WE'VE
GOT TO BE VERY CAREFUL THAT THE
NON-PROFIT SECTOR IS NOT
BECOMING AN ADDITIONAL JUDICIARY
BODY THAT'S PENALIZING THAT
PERSON ON AN ONGOING BASIS.
THAT IS SOMEBODY WHO HAS DONE
THEIR TIME AND THE JUDICIARY HAS
SAID, IT'S TIME FOR THEM TO GO
OUT INTO... AND LET'S MAKE SURE
THAT REINTEGRATION HAPPENS AS
BEST AS POSSIBLE SO THAT THERE
ISN'T RECIDIVISM.

Steve says KATHERINE, YOU'RE IN
A HEALTH SCIENCES CENTRE, YOU'RE
IN A HOSPITAL.
THERE ARE ALL SORTS OF ISSUES OF
PRIVACY THERE.
THERE ARE ALL SORTS OF ISSUES OF
DEALING WITH PEOPLE AT THEIR
MOST VULNERABLE, AT THEIR WORST,
FAMILIES IN CRISIS.
HOW MUCH SCREENING DO YOU HAVE
TO DO BEFORE YOU LET ANYBODY IN?

Katherine says WE DO SECTOR CHECKS.
WHAT'S THE ROLE, WHAT'S THE
POPULATION, WHAT'S THE LEVEL OF
SUPERVISION?
MOST VOLUNTEERS AT THE HOSPITAL
ARE NOT REQUIRED TO DO A SECTOR
CHECK BUT THEY ARE REQUIRED TO
COMPLETE AN APPLICATION, PROVIDE
TWO REFERENCES AND ATTEND AN
INTERVIEW.
THE INTERVIEW IS REALLY ABOUT
MATCHING THAT VOLUNTEER'S
INTERESTS, SKILLS, MOTIVATION
WITH WHAT WE HAVE.
THE GOAL IS A MUTUALLY
BENEFICIAL EXPERIENCE.
BUT IN A HOSPITAL SETTING, WE
ARE DOING SCREENING AND I THINK
AS NEIL POINTED OUT, IT REALLY
DOES DEPEND ON WHO IS YOUR
POPULATION, WHAT'S THE ROLE, ALL
OF THOSE THINGS.

Steve says DO YOU DO THE INTERVIEWS?

Katherine says MY TEAM DOES.
MY TEAM OF FIVE AMAZING
COORDINATORS WHO ARE THE ONES
THAT ARE ENGAGING WITH VOLUNTEERS.

Steve says DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA
WHAT PERCENTAGE OF PEOPLE THEY
WOULD TURN DOWN FOR A VOLUNTEER GIG?

Katherine says NOT THAT MANY.

Steve says NOT THAT MANY.

Katherine says I JUST WANTED TO ADD THAT WE DON'T FIND ACTUALLY THAT PEOPLE
FEEL THEY'RE JUMPING THROUGH HOOPS.
WHAT WE'RE FINDING IS I THINK
PEOPLE, AT LEAST IN HOSPITAL
VOLUNTEERING, ANTICIPATE AND
EXPECT THAT THEY ARE GOING TO
HAVE TO HAVE AN APPLICATION
PROCESSED, SUBMIT INFORMATION...
IN SOME CASES THEY WILL ATTACH A
RESUME.
THAT'S UP TO THEM.
I THINK THEY EXPECT IT AND I
THINK THEY BELIEVE THAT IT'S
PART OF, YOU KNOW, PROTECTING
PATIENTS, PROTECTING FAMILIES.

Steve says RAFAEL, LET ME GET
YOU ON THIS.
A NUMBER OF YEARS AGO ROBERT
PUTNAM WROTE A FASCINATING BOOK
CALLED "BOWLING ALONE."
FOR THOSE WHO DON'T KNOW ABOUT
IT, WHAT WAS IT ABOUT?

The caption changes to "We to me?"

Rafael says IT WILL BE THE 20TH
ANNIVERSARY NEXT YEAR.
HE WAS A SOCIALIST AND HE WAS
LOOKING OVER THE POST-WAR PERIOD
IN THE U.S. AND HE WAS TRYING TO
UNCOVER IN DATA THE QUALITATIVE
FEELING THAT SOMETHING HAD
CHANGED IN AMERICA, SOMETHING
QUALITATIVELY HAD CHANGED IN
AMERICA.
HIS FIRST IDEA WAS, PEOPLE DON'T
BOWL ANYMORE.
IT WAS A CULTURAL INSTITUTION, A
SOCIAL INSTITUTION.
HE ASKED HIS R.A. TO GO DOWN AND
LOOK AT THE DATA.
HE BROUGHT BACK THE DATA.
IT WAS THE SAME RATE.
SORRY.
THE BOWLING RATES HADN'T
CHANGED.
HE SAID THAT'S NOT POSSIBLE.
THERE'S NO WAY.
RIGHT?
LAVERNE AND SHIRLEY, ARCHIE
BUNKER, CAME FROM THE BOWLING
ALLEY.
PEOPLE WEREN'T BOWLING IN GROUPS
ANYMORE, THEY WEREN'T BOWLING
TOGETHER AS PART OF WORKPLACE
TEAMS OR NEIGHBORHOOD GROUPS AND
FRIENDS.
THEY WERE BOWLING ALONE.
THEY COULDN'T FIND THEIR FRIENDS
IN A WAY.
THAT'S BECAUSE OF THE CHANGES TO
THE STRUCTURE OF AMERICAN
SOCIETY WHICH HAPPENED TWOFOLD:
THE AMERICAN LABOUR MARKET
CHANGED.
IT LOST ALL THESE INSTITUTIONS
THAT SUPPORTED THE REGULAR
NINE-TO-FIVE JOB.
BAKED IN TIME WHEN YOU KNOW YOU
HAD LEISURE AND SO DID ALL YOUR
FRIENDS.
FRIDAY, WORK ENDED, YOU HAD A
WEEKEND, AND DAYS WHEN ALMOST
NOTHING HAPPENED BUT LEISURE.
SO THAT WAS DISMANTLED.
PLUS, HE LOOKED AT THE MORE
SOCIOLOGICAL ASPECTS, THE
CHANGING NATURE OF SOCIETY FROM
A COLLECTIVE.
WE WERE DOING THINGS MORE
TOGETHER TO DOING THINGS
INDIVIDUALLY.
THERE WAS A STATISTIC BURIED IN
THAT SAME GENERAL SURVEY THAT
PUBLIC POOLS WERE THE NUMBER ONE
LEISURE ACTIVITY FOR AMERICANS
IN THE 1950s.
BY THE 1970s, ONE IN TEN
PEOPLE WERE GOING TO PUBLIC
POOLS.
WHY?
THEY HAD PRIVATE POOLS AND
DIDN'T WANT TO MIX TOGETHER.
THERE IS THIS FEATURE OF NORTH
AMERICAN PERHAPS LIFE THAT'S
MOST CAPTURED IN THAT STUDY
WHICH SOMEHOW CANADA MIRRORS AND
IT'S SORT OF THE DECLINE IN THE
SOCIAL INSTITUTIONS, THE THINGS
THAT BRING PEOPLE OUT.
VOLUNTEERING HAS THIS QUASI
INDIVIDUAL AND COMMUNITY ASPECT.
YOU CAN GO AS AN INDIVIDUAL OR
FAMILY.
WE'RE SEEING A SOMEWHAT
DISQUIETING PATTERN, A DECLINE
IN VOLUNTEERING.
WE'VE SEEN DECLINES IN OTHER
SOCIAL ACTIVITIES.
WE HAVE TO KEEP AN EYE OUT,
THINGS CHANGING IN OUR SOCIETY
AND LABOUR MARKET AREN'T CAUSING
THESE OTHER NEGATIVE EFFECTS.
I THINK WE HAVE TO BUTTRESS
SOCIETY, ENCOURAGE THE SOCIAL
ASPECTS THAT MAKE I THINK OUR
SOCIETIES COHERE BETTER AND
REPAIR THE LABOUR MARKET WHERE
WE CAN.

Steve says I WANT TO FIND OUT
FROM JOANNE.
DO YOU THINK PEOPLE ARE BOWLING
ALONE IN THE VOLUNTEER SECTOR NOW?

Joanne says WE SEE A STRONG CONTINUED
ENGAGEMENT IN VOLUNTEERISM, BUT
WE DO SEE A SHIFT IN SOME OF THE
REASONS FOR VOLUNTEERING.
WITH ONE IN TWO TORONTONIANS
ARRIVING FROM SOMEWHERE ELSE IN
THE WORLD, PEOPLE ARE
VOLUNTEERING, (a) BECAUSE THEY
WANT TO CONNECT WITH COMMUNITY
BUT BECAUSE THEY WANT TO DEVELOP
LOCAL EXPERIENCE.
WE DO SEE AN INCREASE IN PEOPLE
WHO ARE VOLUNTEERING FOR NEED,
YOU COULD SAY, BUT THAT TREND
DOESN'T DIMINISH THOSE WHO ARE
VOLUNTEERING BECAUSE THEY WANT TO.

Steve says DO YOU SEE THAT AT
THE DAILY BREAD FOOD BANK?

Neil says WELL, MAYBE JUST OUTSIDE OF
THE DAILY BREAD FOOD BANK, YOU
KNOW, I WAS THINKING ABOUT
PLACES OF WORSHIP.
YOU KNOW, PEOPLE GOT TOGETHER,
YOU KNOW, ON SATURDAY OR SUNDAY,
ONCE A WEEK, AS A GROUP.
WE STILL HAVE THAT INTRINSIC
DESIRE TO HEAR A SERMON, BUT NOW
WE WATCH IT ON OUR PHONE ON A
TED TALK AND SO WE'RE KIND OF
MAKING IT A LITTLE BIT MORE
INDIVIDUALISTIC.
NO, I THINK WITH THE DAILY BREAD
FOOD BANK, THOUGH, IT'S ABOUT
COMMUNITY.
IT'S ABOUT, YOU KNOW, WHEN YOU
HAVE HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE... YOU
KNOW, EVERY DAY THERE'S ABOUT
150 PEOPLE, 150 VOLUNTEERS THAT
COME OUT AND THEY SORT FOOD
TOGETHER AND THEY LAUGH
TOGETHER.
THERE'S ALWAYS GREAT MUSIC AT
THE DAILY BREAD FOOD BANK.

Steve says WHAT ARE YOU PLAYING?

Neil says WELL, IT DEPENDS.
FOR YOU, WE WOULD ASK YOU.
WE WOULD HAVE YOU DJ THAT DAY.

Steve says ALL SINATRA ALL THE TIME.

Neil says THERE MIGHT NOT BE AS MANY VOLUNTEERS.

Steve says OH!
OH!

Neil says BUT WE WOULD...

Steve says YOU REALIZE WE ARE
JUST A FEW DAYS REMOVED FROM HIS
BIRTHDAY.
YOU CAN'T BE TALKING LIKE THAT.

[Laughter]

Neil says I DIDN'T REALIZE THAT.
I DIDN'T DO MY HOMEWORK BEFORE
THE SHOW.
IT'S ABOUT A COMMUNITY EFFORT
AND WE ALL HAVE A CENTRAL
MISSION, WHETHER IT'S AT THE
HOSPITAL OR AT ANY OF THE
NGOs, THERE IS THAT GUIDING
MISSION AND THAT VISION THAT WE
CAN ASCRIBE TO AND FEEL GOOD
ABOUT WHATEVER THAT JOB IS THAT
WE'RE WORKING TOWARDS.

Steve says JOANNE, WHAT WOULD
HAPPEN TO SOCIETY IF
VOLUNTEERING TOMORROW STOPPED?

The caption changes to "The glue that binds us."

Joanne says I'D INVITE EVERYONE TO KIND
OF CLOSE THEIR EYES, MAYBE
BECAUSE WE'RE ON TELEVISION,
THAT'S METAPHORICAL, AND IMAGINE
WHAT WOULD CHANGE.
COMMUNITY SPORT, IT WOULD
EVAPORATE.
ARTS AND CULTURE, COMMUNITY
THEATRES, THOSE INSTITUTIONS,
TIFF, THE ARTS AND CULTURE
INSTITUTIONS WE LOVE.
KATHERINE SAID IT BEAUTIFULLY,
WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IN HOSPITALS.
THEY WOULD STILL RUN BUT HOW?
AND WHAT COLOUR WOULD BE BETWEEN
THE WALLS AND PATIENT SUPPORT,
YOU KNOW, EDUCATION, SUPPORTS IN
SCHOOLS.
IT WOULD REALLY BE A DARKENED
REALITY OR DARKENED PICTURE OF
COMMUNITY, I ARGUE.
250,000 VOLUNTEERS ARE SUPPORTED
THROUGH OUR ORGANIZATION ALONE,
1.6 MILLION VOLUNTEERS IN
TORONTO.
THAT'S A HUGE NUMBER OF PEOPLE
WHO ARE CONTRIBUTING TO OUR
SECTOR, AND I THINK IT'S
IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER, WHEN WE
ARE HAVING THOSE MOMENTS,
QUESTIONING, YOU KNOW, WHETHER
OR NOT WE WANT TO GET INVOLVED
OR HOW WE WANT TO GET INVOLVED
OR WHETHER WE CAN, YOU KNOW, GET
INVOLVED IN VOLUNTEERISM OR
ORGANIZATIONS, HOW MUCH WE WOULD
LOSE IF WE DIDN'T.

Rafael says THERE IS A NOTE, THOUGH.
THERE ARE SOCIETIES THAT WORK
REALLY WELL AND HAVE VERY LOW
VOLUNTEER RATES, THE NORDIC
COUNTRIES.
WE HAVE QUEBEC AS THE LOWEST
VOLUNTEERISM.
THEY HAVE COMMITTED TO SPEND
MORE PER CAPITA AND PAYING
PEOPLE TO DO WORK THAT WE AS
MORE ANGLO SAXON RELY ON
VOLUNTEERS AND THE NON-PROFIT
SECTOR TO DO.
IT'S TRUE, THOSE ARE CHOICES
SOCIETY MAKES.
WE SHOULDN'T SAY QUEBEC DOESN'T
CARE.
THEY PAY HIGHER TAXES.
THEY PAY TO DO A LOT OF THAT
WORK.
WE HAVE DIFFERENT VALUES AND
THAT'S OKAY TOO.
BECAUSE WE RELY ON THE VOLUNTEER
SECTOR AND WE DON'T SEEMINGLY
WANT TO PAY THOSE KIND OF TAXES,
WE NEED THE SECTOR AND IT'S
CRUCIAL.
CIVIL SOCIETY PLAYS SUCH A HUGE
ROLE AND IT'S VITAL SO...

Steve says JOANNE, AS YOU LOOK
AT THE LIST OF THINGS PEOPLE
VOLUNTEER TO DO, WHAT'S AT THE TOP?

Joanne says THE MOST POPULAR JOB ON OUR
WEBSITE LAST YEAR WAS A POSITION
AT THE TORONTO AIRPORT AS A
GREETER, WELCOMING INDIVIDUALS
COMING FROM OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD.
WHAT DOES THAT SAY ABOUT TORONTO?
IT MEANS WE WANT TO BE WELCOMING
AND CONNECTED.
I THINK IT SPEAKS TO OUR VALUES.

Steve says DAVID BROOKS IN THE
NEW YORK TIMES WROTE A PIECE NOT
TOO LONG AGO WHERE HE WAS ASKING
PEOPLE ABOUT VOLUNTEERISM.
THE QUESTION TO SOMEBODY WAS,
YOU KNOW, DO YOU THINK YOU COULD
DO ANY VOLUNTEERING?
AND THE PERSON SAID, OH, I
HAVEN'T GOT ANY TIME TO
VOLUNTEER.
I'M ALREADY COACHING MY KID'S
HOCKEY TEAM, I'M LEADING THE
BINGO AT MY MOTHER-IN-LAW'S OLD
AGE HOME.
SO I'M SORRY, I DON'T HAVE ANY
TIME TO VOLUNTEER.
THEY'RE DOING IT WITHOUT
REALIZING THEY'RE DOING IT.

Joanne says CIVIC ENGAGEMENT.

Steve says A LOT OF THAT GOING ON.

Joanne says CARE-GIVING WITH OUR AGING
POPULATION IS ANOTHER THING THAT
FALLS UNDER THAT CATEGORY OF
UNIDENTIFIED VOLUNTEERING, WE'LL
CALL IT, BUT INCREDIBLY
IMPORTANT.

Steve says WE HAVE ABOUT A
MINUTE AND CHANGE TO GO HERE.
NEIL, LET ME ASK YOU THIS.
THE ASSUMPTION, THE NUMBERS YOU
HAVE GIVEN TODAY ABOUT THE
NUMBERS OF PEOPLE YOU HAVE
VOLUNTEERING ARE REALLY QUITE
ASTONISHING.
DOES THAT MEAN TO SAY YOU DON'T
NEED ANY MORE?

Neil says THE NEED IS SO DRAMATIC FOR
OUR SOCIAL SERVICE THAT WE'LL
MAKE USE OF ADDITIONAL
VOLUNTEERS.
YOU KNOW, GOING BACK TO THE
EARLIER POINT ABOUT THE QUALITY
ASSOCIATED WITH HAVING
VOLUNTEERS AND WHAT WOULD THE
HOSPITAL BE LIKE?
THE CHURCH I ATTEND, YORKMINSTER
PARK, RUNS A PROGRAM AND I'VE
ALSO BEEN ASSOCIATED WITH
SHELTERS THROUGH DIXON HALL.
I CAN TELL YOU THAT THE CARE IS
JUST DIFFERENT.
YOU KNOW, IT'S A MEAL AND...
IT'S TWO MEALS AND AN OVERNIGHT
ACCOMMODATION.
BUT THERE IS A... THERE IS A
CARE AND A DESIRE THAT I THINK
IS... THAT THE VOLUNTEERS
PROVIDE FOR THOSE GUESTS THAT IS
REALLY IMPORTANT AND ADDS TO THE
DIGNITY, AS BEST WE CAN, AFFORD
IT FOR THAT NIGHT.

The caption changes to "Producer: Harrison Lowman, @harrisonlowman."

Steve says IN CLOSING, LET ME
THANK ALL FOUR OF YOU FOR
VOLUNTEERING YOUR TIME TO COME
TO TVO TONIGHT AND HELPING US
OUT IN UNDERSTANDING THIS SO
MUCH BETTER, NEIL HETHERINGTON,
RAFAEL GOMEZ, JOANNE McKIERNAN,
KATHERINE ALEXOPOULOS, GREAT TO
HAVE YOU ALL ON TVO TONIGHT.

The caption changes to "Subscribe to The Agenda Podcast: tvo.org/theagenda."

All the guests say Thank you.

Watch: Volunteers Wanted!