Volunteering at ALS Canada

ALS Canada recognizes and affirms the involvement of volunteers at all levels of the organization as a vital component to achieving its mission of supporting Canadians living with ALS and investing in research to make ALS a treatable not terminal disease.

We encourage the participation of all people regardless of age, race, sexual orientation, gender, ancestry, place of origin, citizenship, marital or family status, religious beliefs, geographic location or health status to build their community support for ALS through the act of volunteering with ALS Canada. ALS Canada is committed to supporting and nurturing volunteerism by providing guidance, resources and recognition to all volunteers in a mutually beneficial relationship.

ALS Canada oversees the Province of Ontario, as well as our national programs. Outside of Ontario there are eight other Provincial ALS Societies who also depend on the efforts of many volunteers to support patient services programs and fundraising activities. For volunteer opportunities in provinces outside of Ontario, please contact the Provincial Society (see list here).

At ALS Canada, we depend on volunteers who contribute at all levels from the volunteer who hands out water bottles during event days to our Volunteer Board who is constantly engaged with the organization, staff and other volunteers.

Each volunteer represents a brick that builds the foundation of our organization, and every volunteer in some way provides invaluable support to people with ALS and their families.

What makes volunteering at ALS Canada special?

There are many personal advantages to volunteering such as making new friends and contacts, learning new or developing skills, gaining work experience or meeting volunteer hour requirements for schools and community organizations, creating a sense of being a valuable contributor to society and feeling needed by your neighbours.

What makes volunteering special with ALS is the uniqueness of this community and of the disease itself. As a volunteer you are helping us to challenge the future for people with ALS as well as helping families who are currently challenged by it.

ALS has no known effective treatment and no known cure. The average life span of someone diagnosed with ALS is 3 to 5 years. The cost of this disease for a Canadian family is between $150,000 and $200,000. The disease is characterized by a rapid decline in physical functioning, ending with complete paralysis.

How can you help us change the future of ALS?

We need to raise funds. We need to create awareness. We need to communicate. We need to create new ways of supporting clients and their families. We need to advocate both provincially and nationally to ensure our ALS community receives the maximum support. We need to challenge the system and how it supports rare diseases like ALS.

Many of our applicants, when asked why they choose to volunteer with ALS Canada are not doing it only for personal reasons – they are doing it because the bottom line is ALS is a rapidly progressive terminal disease and they want to change that in any way they can.

To request an application or find out more about  our volunteer program, please send an email to volunteer@als.ca.

Types of Volunteers

Board of Directors

The ALS Canada Board is a volunteer Board elected by members who jointly oversee the activities of ALS Canada. The Board meets four times per year in person and throughout the year via teleconference. Their volunteer role includes establishing the strategic direction, setting goals, objectives, and policy; monitoring the performance of the CEO; ensuring the availability of adequate financial resources; raising awareness, and being accountable to clients and stakeholders that the organization is moving towards its vision, acting on its mission and operating to its values.

Community Based Volunteers

The three pillars to community volunteering are: (1) Support Services, (2) Awareness, Education and Advocacy, and (3) Fund Development. Depending on the needs of your community, ALS Canada has eight regional managers who work with volunteers in the community to meet the needs within each of these pillars. Within your region, there may be volunteers who fulfil the following roles:

1. Support Services:

  • Support Group Facilitators
  • Home Visiting Volunteers
  • Family Mentors

2. Awareness, Education, and Advocacy

  • WALK for ALS volunteers
  • 3rd Party Event Fundraisers
  • HealthPartners Speakers 
  • Ambassadors (New in Fall 2015)

3. Fund Development

  • WALK for ALS Coordinator
  • Signature Event Committee Leads or Members
  • WALK for ALS Committee Member
  • 3rd Party Event Coordinators
  • Day of Event support
  • Fundraising Team Leads for:
  • WALK for ALS: WALK teams consist of three or more people who gather together to WALK for ALS and raise funds to support research and local services. Funds are raised through a letter-writing (or e-mail) campaign with easy-to-follow samples and tips provided by ALS Canada. WALK teams can consist of family members, friends, co-workers and neighbours.
  • Signature Events: Individuals can also organize teams to take part in any of our signature events such as the Bombardier Plane Pull, the ALS Golf Charity Classic, and the Hike for ALS. It's a great way to show support and have fun!
  • Corporate Teams: Businesses can also organize teams to take part in any of our signature events (see above for links) or any of the WALKs for ALS. It's a great way for a company to show its support for an employee or their family member who has ALS or to support a cause to which they feel compassion. Organizing a team builds company morale and instils a strong sense of team spirit. It's also a way to show the community that the company is a caring, involved corporate citizen.

Office Volunteers

Our office volunteers are integral to our operations. From filing to stuffing envelopes to data entry, the tasks may seem small but they have a huge impact on getting information out to our fundraisers, donors and other stakeholders in a timely manner. They are an incredible help to the staff at ALS Canada and also make our days shine with their positive attitude and smiles.

Communications Volunteers

With only one person overseeing and doing the majority of the communications for ALS Canada, there are times when we rely on volunteers to help with their skills in the communication arts. By interviewing, writing, photographing and designing graphics, our communications volunteers are a great addition and allow us to build the brand together.

To request an application or find out more about our volunteer program, please send an email to volunteer@als.ca