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Member Spotlight: Canadian Cancer Society
Making a Difference in More Ways Than One

Formally organized in 1947, the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) continues to leave no stone unturned in its mission to prevent cancer, find it early, and treat it more successfully. The Society is always ready to give people with cancer the help and support they need to lead more fulfilling lives because the CCS believes that life is bigger than cancer.
As the only national charity that supports all cancers that Canadians may be diagnosed with across the country, the CCS relies heavily on volunteers and on promoting community-based volunteerism. “We are recruiting leadership volunteers (committee members, volunteer drivers, campaign leaders) to make the biggest impact in the community”, notes Brittany Niemand, Senior Coordinator, Volunteer Engagement for the organization.
Descriptions of some of the CCS volunteering roles are listed below:
‘Volunteer Drivers’ are engaged to pick up CCS clients, then transport them to and from appointments related to cancer treatment
‘Special Event Committee Members’ (Leads and Chair/Director positions) oversee event planning and execution of the Society’s major fundraising events
‘Campaign Leaders’ help with planning and execution of our large ‘Daffodil Campaign’ annually in April. They embrace a variety of roles (virtual, office admin, in-the-field interaction with donation canvassers)
Episodic: Event day volunteers for various special events and campaigns. All episodic roles are listed online at www.cancer.volunteerhub.com. Volunteers just create their ‘profiles’ individually, then sign up directly for a shift
Volunteer recruitment is busiest from October to May, given that 2 of the most prominent CCS fundraising events (‘Relay for Life’ and ‘CIBC Run for the Cure’) are scheduled during that time. For Brittany, who has enjoyed an extensive association with CCS, the ideal volunteer: A. has a great work ethic; B. commits to use personal skills in a leadership role, or to gain new skills in collaboration with a team of other highly-skilled volunteers and CCS staff and stakeholders.
Volunteering with CCS is a total win-win situation. A great many volunteers are recognized CCS ‘ambassadors’, afforded exciting opportunities to represent the organization in their community by supporting high-profile events, campaigns, and support programs.
Brittany adds, “When a volunteer can inform someone about CCS’s support services, or research information confidently, or share their own personal reason for being involved, they can influence others to support (financially, and/or by volunteering or participating in an event), and choose CCS as charity of choice. Another role they play is being committed to the cause and the role they agree to taking on. Once someone is committed to the work they do, there is no stopping them from the great work they can accomplish."
In addition, volunteers serve as inspirations for Brittany and for many others at CCS. She proudly declares, “Everyday, I am able to interact with amazing volunteers, whether it be long term volunteer drivers who have been part of the ‘Wheels of Hope’ transportation program for over 20 years, or brand new applicants looking to get involved. Every volunteer has a unique reason why they want to be involved with CCS, and I am fortunate to have volunteers share with me their personal reasons why they chose CCS, and this so motivates me to find them meaningful opportunities, plus I’m inspired to do the best I can everyday.”
Volunteer MBC has been honoured since 2009 to support the Canadian Cancer Society, and in particular its Peel office, by matching local volunteers to a wide variety of roles (nearly 20 at last count!) that impact all who have been affected by cancer (clients, their families, friends, co-workers). As a ‘volunteer centre’, Volunteer MBC wholly agrees with the CCS that volunteers contribute so much in their roles to make Peel region and beyond a healthier, safer environment, where cancer is being battled boldly and in so many winning ways.

Robert MacFarlane
Consultant, Referral Services Produced with support of Brittany Niemand (CCS) and VMBC team.