McMaster UniversityMcMaster University Retirees Association (MURA)


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

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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  • 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 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

  • April 26, 2019 12:46 PM | Anonymous

    WANT TO SAIL THIS SUMMER? What better way to spend the summer than near or on the water in beautiful LaSalle Park, putting smiles on the faces of sailors who live with a range of disabilities.

    Burlington Able Sail provides sailing and sail training opportunities to people living with a wide variety of disabilities, in an accessible environment using safe, purpose-built equipment and boats. Volunteers are needed to work with paid staff, usually for a four-hour period between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays, from late June to August. Depending on preferences and abilities, volunteers work with paid staff to welcome clients, coordinate dock activities, help transfers from wheelchairs into boats, act as companion sailors, and drive or observe on coach/safety boats. No experience is necessary. Training will be provided.

    If interested, please contact David Groves at or 905-520-3847 (voice or text).

    Able Sail is also looking for two additional youth employees (grandchildren, etc), preferably with sailing or boating experience, 15 years and older, and for additional clients — individuals living with disabilities — who are interested in getting out on the water.

  • April 03, 2019 1:27 PM | 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 There, you can read about our various programs at “How to Get Involved” and fill in 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

  • March 28, 2019 11:17 AM | Anonymous

    Here’s a volunteer opportunity for garden enthusiasts.

    VON Hamilton’s Adult Day Program and the Hamilton Victory Gardens partnered to build raised garden beds at the VON day program site. The gardens yielded over 1300 pounds of produce in the summer of 2017. These gardens provide fresh produce for food banks and meal programs.

    In addition to contributing to the harvest from Hamilton city locations, this garden is truly meaningful for the frail complex senior clients who spend their days at the Centre. For our clients, this garden harkens back to a time when their generation gardened for both enjoyment and necessity.

    With support from VON staff, students and volunteers, the garden provides clients with the opportunity to participate as productive members of a community that they helped to build.

    Volunteers are required to assist with our garden on Tuesday and/or Thursday mornings for a couple of hours.

    Interested gardening enthusiasts can contact Janis Doran at 905-529-0700 x2251 or for more information.

    VON Hamilton provides home care and community support services to assist people to remain healthy and independent in the community. Our Adult Day Centre provides a meaningful program of activity for clients as well as respite for their caregivers.

    As part of the VON team, you will make a positive impact on the lives of seniors and adults with disabilities who need support services to help to remain independent in their home. VON is Canada’s largest, national, not-for-profit home and community care organization. We’ve been offering high-quality, innovative care and supports since 1897. Come volunteer with us - it’s a service that matters!

    Purpose of the Program:

    • To provide a day out for older adults with disabilities and/or memory loss who require support to participate in recreational, physical and social activities
    • Program provides a hot meal, refreshments, medication reminders, exercise and assistance with personal care in an integrated environment
    • Victory Gardens grow fresh produce for food banks and meal programs and provideopportunities for Day Program clients to engage in stimulating activity


    • Assist program staff with gardens, growing fresh produce for food banks and meal programs
    • Maintain garden as directed, planting, tending, weeding and harvesting as required
    • Provide friendly conversation and socialization for clients in a safe supportive environment


    • Meet new people and have fun
    • Join a team dedicated to making a difference through growing fresh produce, helping to alleviate hunger and food insecurity
    • Play an important role in helping clients remain engaged and safe

    Training and Support:

    • VON provides orientation and training
    • Ongoing support provided by the Adult Day Program staff

    Skills and Qualifications:

    • Satisfactory Police Vulnerable Sector Check and 2 Valid References
    • Good interpersonal skills


    • Program operates Monday-Friday, 9:00am-4:00pm. Shifts to be determined by mutual agreement with day program staff
  • February 07, 2019 6:25 PM | Anonymous

    2019 is going to be a great year to volunteer. The Canadian Cancer Society is a national organization of volunteers whose mission is the eradication of cancer and the enhancement of the quality of life of people living with cancer. Three different types of opportunities are currently available in the Hamilton area:

    1. The Relay for Life organizing committee has leadership positions still open for the 2019 event.
    2. In April there are opportunities for coordinating and participating in storefront pin sales during the annual Daffodil campaign in order to raise funds and promote cancer awareness.
    3. There are a few regular weekly shifts available providing ongoing administrative support in the Hamilton office.

    For more information please review the specific postings available at Charity Village: CCS volunteer positions Hamilton or contact Lynn Felker at

  • November 05, 2018 12:25 PM | Anonymous

    VON Hamilton has a role for YOU… VON Hamilton values and appreciates the caring volunteers who are the heart of our organization. We care that our volunteers have a positive and rewarding volunteer experience. VON provides orientation, training and ongoing support to our volunteers.

    The following opportunities are available:

    • Meals on Wheels- Deliver hot and/or frozen meals at lunchtime to home-bound individuals in Hamilton and Stoney Creek. Both drivers and servers are needed one or more days per week, Monday to Friday. Mileage is reimbursed for drivers.
    • Congregate Dining- Provide transportation and assistance to seniors to attend our “lunch bunch” program every other Tuesday during the school year.
    • Volunteer Visiting- Provide companionship to lonely and/or isolated seniors or adults with disabilities. Visits are 2 hours per week on a flexible basis.
    • Hospice Volunteer Visiting- Offer emotional and practical support to individuals with a life-threatening or terminal illness through their end of life journey. All volunteers are provided with 30-hours palliative care education.
    • Volunteer-Assisted Transportation- Provide a drive to medical appointments and friendly support while waiting. As needed, you decide what days you have available. Mileage is reimbursed.

    Join our team today, become a VON volunteer! Call 905-529-0700 x2251 or email

  • November 05, 2018 12:23 PM | Anonymous

    The McMaster NeuroFit Lab, directed by Dr. Jennifer Heisz, is recruiting older adults for a study on physical fitness and brain health.

    The rapid increase in the aging population and the consequent surge in the incidence of neurodegenerative diseases underlie the urgent need to identify interventions that will help older adults maintain their cognitive, visual and mental health.

    The research aims to investigate the benefits provided by physical fitness on cognition, vision and mood and to understand the mechanisms responsible for these relationships.

    The study needs people 65 years of age or older who are free from cognitive impairment, auto-immune disease, type II diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease, obesity (BMI>30) and are not currently taking hormone replacement therapy or beta-blockers. Participants will be compensated for participating in the three required on-campus sessions.

    If you fit the criteria and are interested in participating in this study, please contact Alexis via email at or via phone at 905-525-9140 ext. 23616.

  • August 17, 2018 5:42 PM | Anonymous

    Burlington Public Library is recruiting volunteers for its VolunTech E-Support program, offering one to one help with electronic devices.

  • August 17, 2018 5:40 PM | Anonymous

    The Hamilton Public Library is recruiting volunteers for its one to one ESL tutoring program.

  • August 17, 2018 11:49 AM | Anonymous

    Volunteer to deliver library materials to homebound neighbours. Both the Hamilton and Burlington Libraries need volunteers to deliver library materials to those unable to get to the library on their own due to health or mobility limitations.

    • Visiting service volunteers typically commit to 3-4 hours of service per month
    • HPL asks for a minimum one year commitment
    • BPL asks for a minimum commitment of 4 months
    • Once a month, you pick up library materials from your selected library branch, deliver to your customer(s), and return completed materials to a library branch, advising staff of changes and respecting confidentiality
    • Volunteers need to be physically able to lift and carry bags of library materials, be reliable and trustworthy, and have good interpersonal skills
    • A recent Police Vulnerable Sector Check (dated within the last 12 months) will be required after acceptance into the program. The cost of this check will be refunded to you.
    • Orientation and training is provided.

    Hamilton Public Library

    For information, call the Volunteer Coordinator at 905- 546-3200 x 3620, or email Apply online or download the application form on the HPL online web page

    Burlington Public Library

    For information, contact any BPL branch or the Central Branch (555 New Street, 905-639-3611). Pick up a volunteer application form at any branch, or download the form from the online web page

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