Becoming a volunteer
Volunteer to support Canada’s response to COVID-19 and receive the Canada Student Service Grant.
Be of service to your community
The coronavirus pandemic has increased the demand for services provided by charities and not-for-profit organizations in your community — and they need your help.
If you’re a registered post-secondary student or a recent graduate, you can help your community by volunteering with a local organization. In recognition for your service, you can receive a grant of between $1,000 and $5,000.
Step 1 Confirm your eligibility
Make sure you’re eligible before you apply to become a volunteer, as all the opportunities advertised on I Want to Help were created to support the Canada Student Service Grant.
All Canadian students and recent graduates who meet the eligibility criteria can receive the Grant for volunteering between June 25th and October 31st, 2020.
To apply, you must:
- Be a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, refugee, First Nations, Metis or Inuit aged 30 years old or younger. You must be aged 30 or under as of December 31st, 2020.
- Be enrolled part time or full time in a recognized post-secondary education program in Spring/Summer 2020 or Fall 2020, or have completed your post-secondary studies in December 2019 or later.
Students who study abroad are also eligible, but they must be currently living in Canada.
Application is also open to students and recent graduates who are employed, and those who are receiving the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) or a microgrant from the Canada Service Corps program.
Recognized post-secondary education programs include courses taken at a university or college level at a designated or certified educational institution in Canada, including recognized Indigenous institutions. Courses taken at a secondary-level vocational training institution in Québec are also included.
If you receive or have received the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), you are not eligible for the Grant.
Step 2 Search for opportunities
Once you’ve confirmed you meet the eligibility criteria, you can start searching for service opportunities.
Thousands of opportunities with charities and not-for-profit organizations are advertised on the I Want to Help platform. Each opportunity has been verified to make sure it complies with all of our requirements.
All opportunities on I Want to Help:
- Take place in Canada
- Support Canada’s response to COVID-19
- Comply with public health guidelines
- Provide a meaningful experience for the volunteer
- Require a minimum of 2 hours a week for at least 4 weeks
The opportunities can be in-person or virtual, which means you can also volunteer remotely from home.
Are you already volunteering with a charity or not-for-profit organization? If you would like your hours to count towards the Canada Student Service Grant, the organization you’re volunteering with can submit the opportunity for approval before August 21st, 2020 — as long as it meets all of our requirements.
Step 3 Register and apply
Once you’ve found a volunteer opportunity that suits you, click on “Apply now”. You need to create an account to apply for the opportunity and the Canada Student Service Grant. You will have to answer a few questions and provide some personal information. After you apply, you will also be asked to provide documentation proving that you’re eligible.
You will need to provide:
- A piece of identification such as a valid driver’s license, provincial or territorial identification, or, a valid passport; and
- A proof of registration from a recognized post-secondary institution for Spring/Summer 2020 or Fall 2020; or
- A proof of graduation from no earlier than December 2019.
You have until August 21st, 2020 to register and apply.
Step 4 Track your hours
When you start volunteering with a charity or not-for-profit organization in an approved opportunity, you will have to track your hours in order to be eligible to receive the Canada Student Service Grant. The organization will assign you a supervisor who will be able to approve your volunteer hours as you complete them.
The Canada Student Service Grant ranges from $1,000 to $5,000. The more volunteer hours you put in over the summer, the higher the grant amount you will be eligible to receive. To accumulate hours, you can volunteer with more than one charity or not-for-profit organization. Note that the Grant is only offered in increments of $1,000 for every hundred volunteer hours completed. This means you won’t be receiving $1,500 for 150 completed hours.
Canada Student Service Grant Levels
- 100 hours for $1,000
- 200 hours for $2,000
- 300 hours for $3,000
- 400 hours for $4,000
- 500 hours for $5,000
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