Community Service

Every day in Hamilton children go to school hungry, seniors are at risk of isolation, youth need help to succeed in school, and adults with disabilities are in need of assistance. Student Open Circles mobilizes weekly teams of students to be hands that provide food or assistance, minds that teach, and hearts that care. For us, community service has two meanings: student volunteers serve the broader community, and they serve within a community as they volunteer with their peers, form friendships, and reflect together.

Through our Community Volunteer Circles (CVC) program, we:

  • Recruit and coordinate weekly volunteers at children's breakfast programs, afterschool clubs, shelters, and homes for people living with disability throughout Hamilton
  • Help volunteers learn and grow by facilitating a group reflection each time they volunteer
  • Provide training and leadership development for student facilitators of our weekly groups

Fast Facts on Community Volunteer Circles

  • 30 weekly volunteer teams serve at social agencies in Hamilton
  • 300 students give 10,000 hours of service each year, at minimum wage this is more than $140,000 of benefit to the Hamilton community!
  • Students are engaging in children's tutoring, assisting adults with disabilities, supporting seniors, working with youth, and serving at homeless shelters
  • More than 40 Student Leaders are trained each year in volunteer coordinating and discussion facilitation skills
A student tutoring a child at an afterschool club

Volunteer Team Placements

We currently recruit and manage weekly volunteers for:

Conway (Conway Opportunity Homes, Inc)
Interact and assist with people living with developmental disabilities.

Inasmuch Women's Shelter (Mission Services)
Facilitate crafts, games, and movies for infants and children

Learning and Fun (Welcome Inn Community Centre)
Work with at underserved children in small groups and one-on-one using creative and fun tools to teach academics, and assist LAF coordinator with activities.

Newcomer Youth Centre and Homework Help Club (YMCA)
Interact with recent immigrant youth, provide homework assistance, and organize fun and educational activities in the YMCA Youth Centre.

Pathways to Education (North Hamilton Community Health Centre)
Academic tutoring and role-modeling to Gr. 9 students in a group environment where learning (through homework, projects, and other avenues) is preserved and appreciated.

Reading Rocks (Learning Disabilities Association of Halton-Hamilton)
Interact and tutor 6-12 year old children who struggle with attainment of early literacy skills twice a week in one-on-one sessions.

Youth Transitions Program (YMCA)
Provide online tutoring and mentoring for youth ages 12-19.

Our Major Sponsors

Ontario Trillium Foundation Logo

Funding for COVID-19 recovery is provided by the Ontario Trillium Foundation's Resilient Communities Fund.

Hamilton Community Foundation Logo

Funding for our Community Volunteer Circles program is provided by The Edith H. Turner Foundation Fund and the Pandemic Response Fund of the Hamilton Community Foundation.