Volunteering at McMaster

Want to stay involved on campus?

Opportunities are frequently available for Mac retirees to continue to support our McMaster community, while participating in fulfilling and rewarding volunteer work. MURA provides information on available volunteer opportunities in its quarterly newsletter, MURAnews, and also sends notices via email. To be added to the MURA member email list, send a request by email to mura@mcmaster.ca.

Don’t want to volunteer alone? Most volunteer activities work well with a teamwork approach. So when you see an opportunity that appeals to you, get in touch with your retiree friends and volunteer as a team.

Volunteering off campus

A few major off-campus volunteer organizations

Volunteering news

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  • January 29, 2020 12:08 PM | Anonymous
    BASEF is an annual exhibition and competition showcasing projects of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Students in grades 7 to 12 from Hamilton, Halton, Brant, Haldimand, Norfolk and Six Nations display their innovations and discoveries throughout the fair. Mac retirees from all backgrounds are encouraged to help make this event a success by volunteering at the fair in various capacities.

    General Volunteers — Help with set-up, registration, supervising student activities, and welcoming and guiding participants and visitors. To sign up, please visit BASEF Volunteering or email volunteers@basef.ca.

    Judging — Judging day is Friday March 27. To become a judge, please visit BASEF Judging or email judging@basef.ca.
  • November 23, 2019 9:11 PM | Anonymous

    Healthy males between the ages of 65 and 80 are needed for a Mac research study.
    James McKendry, a Postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Kinesiology, is conducting a study investigating the effects of different protein beverages on the muscle health of older men.
    Participants will be healthy males between the ages of 65 and 80 who are non-smokers and non-diabetic. Compensation will be provided for involvement in the study.
    If you are interested please email James at
    mckendrj@mcmaster.ca or call 905-525-9140 ext. 21918

  • November 03, 2019 11:17 AM | Anonymous

    Make a long-lasting, positive difference as a mentor with Empowerment Squared by assisting newcomer youth and families with settling in Canada.
    Based in Hamilton, Empowerment Squared is a Canadian charity that works with youth and communities to effect sustainable change through education, social development, and lifelong learning opportunities. We aim to empower less privileged communities through academic mentoring for youth and young adults, information literacy, leadership development, and supervised access to sports and recreation opportunities.
    Choose from one of four programs:  Academic Mentoring, Basketball, Makerspace, or Hamilton Education Law Program. 

    Training and support provided.

    Volunteers play an essential role in the Empowerment Squared organization.  Mentors commit to two hours of volunteering per week for a minimum of 10-15 weeks.  Must attend training sessions, complete intake package, provide references and pass a vulnerable sector criminal background check.

    Volunteers must also:

    • Be serious about their commitment
    • Be patient, respectful, and act within the boundaries defined by their position
    • Be committed to learning, diversity and youth development
    • Be willing to step out of their comfort zones in a supportive environment
    • Possess a desire to make a difference in someone’s life
    • Enjoy working with youth and newcomer communities in a supportive team environment

    Potential volunteers can fill out the volunteer application before attending a training session.  For more information visit the Empowerment Squared website.

  • October 24, 2019 12:35 PM | Anonymous
    Effects of n-3 PUFA supplementation on healthy older women undergoing unilateral knee Immobilization; Principal Investigator: Dr. Stuart Phillips, Department of Kinesiology

    Healthy, non-smoking, non-diabetic women between the ages of 60-75 years are needed for this study, which will investigate the effects of fish oil supplementation on muscle growth during single leg immobilization.

    Participants will undergo 7 weeks of supplementation, including 1 week of one legged immobilization. Muscle mass and strength will be measured during weekly visits to campus.

    Participants will be compensated for their time.

    Please contact Mr. Jonathan Mcleod mcleoj2@mcmaster.ca; phone 647-628-1287 for more information.

  • October 24, 2019 12:31 PM | Anonymous

    MURA members seeking an opportunity to lend their knowledge and skills to helping patient-clients, and their families, who are living with life threatening illnesses, are invited to consider volunteering with the Dr. Bob Kemp Hospice. The goal of the hospice is to provide excellence in care, whether that be at home, in hospital, in a long-term care facility or in the Dr. Bob Kemp residential hospice. Hospice is about celebrating life and quality of living. All services offered through the hospice are provided at no cost to the clients or their families.

    The Bob Kemp Hospice is always looking for volunteers to share their time and talents. Volunteers are asked for a minimum commitment of 15 hours per month for at least one year. Programs needing volunteers are:

    • Day Hospice Program/Pediatric Day Wellness: Participants spend their day involved in many activities with lunch provided,
    • Visiting Volunteer: Volunteers offer emotional and respite (non-medical) support to a person/family living in the community,
    • Residential Hospice: Volunteer visits with a resident in the hospice.
    • Help is also needed for Kitchen, Housekeeping/ Maintenance, Special Events, Office/Administrative Support, and Board Membership.
    The Hospice is now setting up training sessions in February and March 2020. For more information and volunteer applications go to the Volunteer page of the Kemp Hospice website. Or contact Karen Nowicki, Volunteer Administrative Assistant, 905-387-2448, Ext. 2208.
  • October 22, 2019 11:34 AM | Anonymous

    Pathways Hamilton needs volunteers for the tutoring program that take place in Hamilton community spaces such as Compass Community Health, Eva Rothwell Resource Centre and Mission Services Hamilton.

    This innovative after-school support program is designed to reduce poverty and its effects by increasing graduation rates among high school students from economically disadvantaged communities and increase their participation in post-secondary programs.

    Be a positive role model. Assist students with homework and test preparation. One 3-hour shift per week (4:30 – 7:30pm).

    More detail is provided in this fact sheet, and at the Pathways to Education website.

    Please contact Jack Bernacki at JBernacki@Compassch.org to get started!

  • October 12, 2019 2:09 PM | Anonymous

    People 65 – 79 years of age are needed for a Mac research study:  

    • “Investigating the Relationship between Physical Activity and Sleep on Cognitive Functioning in Aging”
    • Principal Investigator: Dr. Jennifer Heisz

    For more information, please see the poster below.

    If you fit the criteria and are interested in participating, please contact:

  • August 27, 2019 11:45 AM | Anonymous
    The Cancer Assistance Program is a community based, not for profit organization, led by a team of staff and volunteers, that offers free services to those in the greater region of Hamilton and surrounding communities affected by cancer. CAP provides services for over 2000 clients each year, all free of charge. It receives no government funding, relying on the community for support. CAP’s over 130 volunteers serve in every area from planning to service delivery. Retirees are invaluable contributors to CAP’s volunteer base because of their emotional maturity, experience, and daytime availability.

    A variety of volunteer opportunities exist, including:

    • Driver: Drive individuals to and from cancer related medical appointments.
    • Client Services Assistant: Greet, engage and register clients for available services and issue requested equipment and personal care products.
    • Equipment Technician: Repair and/or sanitize home health equipment.
    • Board and Governance Committee Member: Provide governance and oversight of organizational activities as a board member. Offer subject-matter expertise as a board committee member.
    • Event Planning Committee Member: Assistance in the planning and facilitation of fundraising events.
    • Event Assistant: Assist during fundraising events in a variety of roles.

    To review the detailed position descriptions, including screening requirements, please visit https://cancerassist.ca/volunteer, or contact Maria by phone at 905-383-9797 ext. 102 or by email at meleusiniotis@cancerassist.ca.

  • August 27, 2019 11:40 AM | Anonymous

    As many of you are probably aware, there is a crisis in palliative and hospice care in Ontario. Home Hospice Association (HHA) is a not-for-profit, federally registered charity that delivers free palliative and hospice care to anyone, at any time, under any roof, at any age.

    We are asking you to become part of our volunteer force.

    The fact that Boomers and Seniors currently account for 45% of Ontario’s population means that we have an incredible resource from which to draw volunteers. We believe that volunteers of all ages are incredibly valuable. However, we know that Boomers and Seniors bring with them specific qualities, highlighted by

    • Skill expertise developed over a lifetime
    • Appreciation and understanding of team work
    • Flexible schedule

    The benefits to you include, but are not limited to:

    • enhanced emotional and physical wellbeing
    • strengthened mental capacity
    • learning and skill development through new experiences

    Our clients are facing life-limiting illnesses. After online training, HHA volunteers confidently help in a variety of ways, from operational work such as event-planning, to committee work, and hands-on caregiving in the home. The possibilities are as limitless as the skills our volunteers bring with them.

    For more information about HHA and how you can help, please go to our website www.homehospiceassociation.com. There, you can read about our various programs in the “Get Involved” section, and submit a volunteer application form.

    Regardless of where you live in Ontario, you are welcome to contact me directly by email or telephone. Looking forward to bringing you onboard!

    Terri Viola-Wilson
    Volunteer Executive Director
    HHA Hamilton/Halton Chapter

  • April 26, 2019 12:47 PM | Anonymous

    The Ronald McDonald Family Room, located in McMaster Hospital, is a comfortable, quiet space for families to rest and rejuvenate while their children are being cared for in the hospital. Families visit the room to relax, enjoy a snack or refreshment, watch TV or a movie, play games or with toys, use the computer, and do laundry.

    The Family Room program is expanding by opening a new Ronald McDonald Family Room in McMaster Hospital this Spring. New volunteers are needed to help ensure our programs are successful.

    Volunteers provide an atmosphere of warmth and compassion to all families. Volunteers assist in the day-to-day operation of the Family Room by providing comfort and support to the families and children who visit the room. Volunteers greet and assist families, make coffee and snacks and assist families with laundry, maintain tidiness and cleanliness, and supervise programs with children and families (e.g. craft programs, games, movie night).

    Please contact Shelley Harrison, Manager of Volunteer Services, at sharrison@rmhcsco.ca or 905-521-9983 ext.2110 for more details about how you can become involved. Information about the Ronald McDonald Family Room can be found at www.rmhcsco.ca.

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