Giving Back: 5 Places To Volunteer In Northwest Calgary

July 8, 2017

In the same way that a home is more than just the bricks, wood and glass that make a house, a community is more than just a place to live. The people who fill the houses, the acts of kindness they perform for their neighbours, and what is contributed to the greater good is what makes a community whole.

Volunteering offers benefits for people of all ages (including lowering the risk of dimentia in senior citizens), and Calgary’s Northwest offers an incredible range of opportunities for people to be involved for a happier, healthier, safer and more unified community for all.

Whatever they may be, your talents will find a worthy use within some of our favorite nearby causes. From literary skills, to humanitarian pursuits, and animal-rehabilitation to healthcare based help, volunteering offers something for everyone.


1. Alberta Health Services

Ronald McDonald House

Credit Ben and Larry


Alberta Health Services (AHS) volunteers are individuals looking for a rewarding opportunity to provide meaningful support to patients and their families through a variety of roles. Volunteers are a vital link in the important work of AHS.

A major volunteer opportunity through AHS is at the Rotary Flames House— a community based hospice located on the grounds of the Alberta Children’s Hospital. It provides care for children from birth to 18 years who have a serious illness, which may progress to result in the child not living to adulthood. The volunteer’s role during their shift is that of the missing friend or neighbor that the family may call on to lend a hand when time and energy are depleted. As many of the children are admitted for respite stays, the volunteer will also be providing companionship and play based activities for children.

AHS’s partnerships include a number of other volunteer opportunities including the Ronald McDonald House—a charity that provides affordable accommodations for families who have been displaced due to their child receiving treatment at the nearby Alberta Children’s Hospital.  Volunteers are sought to help provide meals for families staying with the Ronald McDonald house—a perfect fit for those hoping to put their cooking skills to great use.


2. Vecova

Lend a helping hand to make meaningful opportunities for all people, and all abilities at Vecova. Vecova Centre for Disability Services and Research is a leading edge registered and accredited non-profit charitable organization that has been meeting the lifelong and changing needs of persons with disabilities. Their mission: building the capacity of persons with disabilities and enriching communities through leadership, innovation and collaboration.

At its core, Vecova is about creating opportunities that benefits all members of our community, helping to enrich it by engaging and celebrating people of all talents and capabilities, and making their lives safer and happier in doing so.

Volunteer opportunities can be found here.

3. Calgary Public Library

Credit: Dale Calkins

Lend your time and talents and watch your community thrive!

The Calgary Public Library presents an opportunity to use your skills to enrich the lives of people at every stage of life. Make a difference in someone’s life by helping develop the foundations of literacy in Calgary’s youngest citizens—helping stories come to life by sharing a love of reading. Beyond the younger set, volunteers can share their tech-based skills by helping patrons explore computer use, and even help deliver library materials to seniors.

Volunteers here can expect to share a love of reading, develop new skills, and make new friends in the process. Every single year, more than 2500 dedicated volunteers contribute over 53,000 volunteer hours—with a value of more than $1,538,000 that directly benefits over half a million Calgarians, allowing them to offer more programs to the city of Calgary.

Volunteers of all ages are welcomed to the library, and can sign up for a number of adult and youth opportunities. All library locations and their hours can be found here.


4. Goodwill Varsity

What many people don’t realize is that Goodwill keeps items out of landfills each year by recycling and donating goods that most people don’t think twice about throwing away. These goods are sold, with profits used to provide on the job training and services for people who face barriers to employment.

Goodwill believes that strong communities are made up of individuals whose dignity is affirmed by meaningful work. The more people donate, thrift shop, and volunteer for Goodwill, the stronger our community will be!

Goodwill Varsity wants you to consider sharing your time and talents with them to help continue their mission. No matter your interests, Goodwill offers a number of volunteer positions and fits for all people— from outgoing people-persons to behind the scenes helpers.

Goodwill believes that our talents are as unique as we are. Please send them a message through their volunteer form and they would be happy to help find your best-fitting role.


5. Calgary Wildlife Rehabilitation Society

Credit: Andrea Hunt

Animal lovers are welcome at The Calgary Wildlife Rehabilitation Society (CWRS). The organization is a non-profit that rescues and rehabilitates wild animals in the City of Calgary and surrounding areas. It is dedicated to treating injured and orphaned wildlife, providing valuable outreach and education services to the community, and engaging all volunteers in motivational work and skill building experience.

CWRS receives mostly urban wildlife. With over 400 species of wild animals living within the City of Calgary, the organization is committed to giving injured and orphaned animals a second chance at life.

CWRS is the only veterinarian based wildlife hospital within Calgary, with professional veterinary staff providing medical and rehabilitative care for all injured and orphaned wildlife brought into the hospital. Each year they provide over 200 eco-literacy programs to over 5000 students and citizens, and work with numerous agencies including the Alberta government, the Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative, the University of Calgary Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, the Calgary Zoo, local animal services agencies, municipal police and many others.

Volunteers provide a critical role to its success and are valued members of the team. CWRS is always in need of volunteers who are willing to help out in a variety of ways. A large, formally trained volunteer base supports CWRS that collectively log over 7,000 volunteer hours per year.

Volunteers at the facility are well trained to perform a variety of functions from animal pickups and releases, providing rehabilitative care, feeding, conducting educational programs, and other critical functions. Volunteers through workplace and community organizations perform valuable construction and maintenance functions, keeping ongoing facility costs low, including lending their talents to make arts and crafts available for sale through our website, trade-shows and auctions.

View their range of opportunities and fill out an application here.


There’s nothing more fulfilling than finding a cause that’s near and dear to each of our own experiences, skills and hopes for our communities—and the Northwest is waiting to become part of ours.

To tell us about more great volunteer opportunities in the Northwest or to give credit to a volunteer champion, let us know at!


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