“I volunteer because I believe that it is important to give back to our community and help others in any way that I can. It is also a great way to meet interesting people.”


This past year, over 350 dedicated volunteers have given their time to assist at our fundraising events as well as in our office. Their time, enthusiasm and expertise contribute to an outstanding experience for our event guests and donors, helping us make a difference in the lives of disadvantaged children and youth in Canada.

For more information, please contact:

Katharine Chen
Senior Events Officer
416-923-0924 x 227 kchen@cafdn.org

Donate your time and become a volunteer for The Children’s Aid Foundation!

We offer a variety of volunteer opportunities at our special events as well as in our office during regular office hours. We encourage you to connect with us to determine the best way to volunteer your time.

Volunteering is an enriching experience in so many ways. When you become part of our team, you have an opportunity to:

  • support a cause you truly believe in
  • apply your current skills and gain some new ones
  • meet new people, make new friends and develop professional contacts
  • feel the personal satisfaction of helping others
  • make a difference in your own community

Volunteer to improve the lives of disadvantaged children across the country. Just think of the difference you can make by becoming a Children’s Aid Foundation volunteer. There are many possibilities! With opportunities to suit everyone, here are the ways you can be involved:

Volunteer at Special Events

As a Special Event Volunteer, you will provide assistance in the areas of event preparation and execution. Support us to raise awareness, dollars and much needed support for the children and youth of Canada, while having fun!

From community fundraising events to black-tie Galas, the Children’s Aid Foundation holds a variety of special events every year. These events include:

  • Joe Carter Classic Golf Tournament
  • Women’s Golf Classic Tournament
  • Children’s Aid Foundation Gala – Teddy Bear Affair
  • Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon
  • Holiday Season Celebration

Please refer to our calendar for a complete list of events.

If you are interested in volunteering at special events, please fill out the Volunteer Application Form.

Volunteer at the Office

As a Office Volunteer, you will provide administrative support at our downtown Toronto office during our regular office hours (Monday to Friday 9:00am – 5:00pm). Volunteers will assist in general clerical support such as data entry, filing, photocopying, researching, mail outs and other duties depending on the time of year.

If you are interested in volunteering at our office, please fill out the Volunteer Application Form.

Corporate Volunteer Opportunities

We offer our corporate partners a variety of group volunteer opportunities at our special events as well as during holiday season:

  • Children’s Aid Foundation Gala – Teddy Bear Affair
  • Fill the Sleigh Donation Drop-Offs
  • Holiday Season Celebration
  • Women’s Golf Classic Tournament
  • Joe Carter Classic Golf Tournament

We work closely with our corporate partners to ensure the best volunteer experience for their employees.



Q: How do I become a volunteer?
A: Please contact Angela Liu, Volunteer Coordinator, at 416-923-0924 x 248 or aliu@cafdn.org.

Q: What type of volunteer positions does the Children’s Aid Foundation offer?
A: Most of our volunteer positions are opportunities to help with the execution of our events. Please visit our calendar for more details.

Additionally, there are times when we are in need of volunteers to help out in the office during regular office hours.

Q: I am interested in working with children and families. What opportunities do you have?
A: The Foundation fundraises and grants money to our partners to support vulnerable children and youth but does not operate programs and services. As such, most of our volunteer activities do not provide opportunities to work with children and youth directly. If you are interested in working with children and youth, please contact our partners directly.

Q: Do I need a police check?
A: A police check is not required to volunteer with the Children’s Aid Foundation.

Q: Are there volunteer opportunities outside of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA)?
A: As the Foundation office is located in Toronto, Ontario, volunteer opportunities at the Foundation are limited to the GTA. To support the Foundation elsewhere in the country, please contact our partners directly.

Q: I am in high school. Can I volunteer with the Foundation to get my volunteer hours?
A: Yes, we welcome students to volunteer with the Foundation. Please note that some event opportunities are only open to those 19 and over due to the presence of alcohol.

Q: I would like to introduce my child to volunteering. At what age can my child start volunteering with the Children’s Aid Foundation?
A: To volunteer without a parent, volunteers must be at least 14 years of age. When volunteering with a parent, volunteers can be as young as 12 years old depending on the opportunity. Please note that some volunteer opportunities are only open to those 19 and over due to the presence of alcohol.

Another way to introduce your child to charities is by holding their own fundraiser such as a lemonade stand or collecting spare change. Please visit our Host a Community Event page for more information and ideas.

Q: My colleagues and I are interested in volunteering as a group. What opportunities do you have?
A: Employee/Corporate groups are welcome to volunteer at our events. Please visit our calendar of events page to see upcoming events.

An alternative way for employee groups to support the Children’s Aid Foundation is by holding a workplace fundraising event. Please visit our Host a Community Event page for more information and ideas.

Q: How can I volunteer my professional skills (accounting, fundraising, business leadership, etc.)?
A: The Foundation relies on the leadership of a volunteer Board of Directors. Membership to the Board of Directors is a nomination process by invitation only. To learn more about our current board, please visit our Leadership page.

The Foundation also has a number of volunteer committees including fundraising event committees, awards committee, and major gifts committee. To be considered for one of these committees, please forward your resume and cover letter for consideration to Cathleen Hurley, Executive Assistant at churley@cafdn.org.

Q: Are there any internship or co-op opportunities?
A: At this time there are no regular internship or co-op opportunities.


Established in 2014, our Volunteers of Hope program honours some of our most dedicated volunteers. Each of these volunteers have demonstrated their commitment to the Foundation by either volunteering at 10 or more events since late 2010, volunteering regularly in our office for a minimum of three years or volunteering their time and creativity to create 10 or more Collector Bears for our Teddy Bear Affair.

Each year, new Volunteers of Hope inductees will be presented with a token of our appreciation at the annual Volunteer Appreciation Evening during National Volunteer Week.

Volunteers of Hope Inductees 2014
Agnes Jenkinson, Cathy Ramsamujh, Cindy Gahunia, Frances Forrester, George Lam, Pat Kane, Polly Singh and Rhonda B. Cohen

Volunteers of Hope Inductees 2015
Dianne Blencoe, Gail Hancock, Katie Willoughby, Lesley Mallet, Rita Tumminieri, Shane Elliot, Sharon Edwards and Susan Conacher

Volunteers of Hope Inductees 2016
Ann-Marie Ceballo-Jones, Pamela Neblett and Alvin Paliuanan

Volunteers of Hope Inductees 2017
Sandra Wilton and Wayne Yeung



Why do you volunteer (in general)?
“In general I volunteer because I feel I have been very fortunate in my life. I am not rich, but have always had enough. I have been surrounded by love and support my whole life. I feel it is my duty and pleasure to pay back into society by giving my time and talents where I can.”

“I volunteer because I love interacting with people and hearing what they have to say. It’s also a great way to meet new people and most importantly, I know it makes a difference to the organization that I’m volunteering for.”

“I volunteer because I believe that it is important to give back to our community and help others in any way that I can. It is also a great way to meet interesting people.”

“I volunteer because I can! My time is my own when I am not working and I sincerely enjoy giving back.”

“Having had the privilege of travelling to many places around the world, I have come to realize how extremely fortunate I am to have a roof over my head, food on the table and clothes on my back and so many opportunities in life. Being in the position that I am, I believe that it is my responsibility to help those less fortunate especially for those that aren’t always able to help themselves such as children, elderly and animals which is where I tend to focus. If I can help one person or make a difference in a life that is my reward and it is a great feeling.”

“I like volunteering – it’s a passion for me I have been doing it for 30 years even though I worked full time for patient care at a hospital. For me when you volunteer it helps the community especially if it’s [a] non-profit, it makes vast difference.”

“I volunteer with the intention to fulfill personal standards, and to assist those that sometimes can not help themselves.”

Why do you volunteer at the Children’s Aid Foundation?
“At first it was the events. But then I attend the Recognition night one September and saw all those being called up to accept their scholarships for further study and it blew me away. It showed one of the areas CAF focuses on and how much of a difference can be made in a child’s life when someone cares.”

“A friend suggested I come to the Children’s Aid Foundation because they always had work that needed to be done.  My interest in the CAF was triggered since both my brother and a very close friend of mine were adopted through the Children’s Aid Society.”

“I initially began volunteering through the corporate sponsorship program at the company I was working at and although the company would eventually reallocate their charitable funding, I continued to volunteer on my own time. The event that captured my heart was the Children’s Aid Foundation Holiday Season Celebration which allows you to see first hand the impact volunteerism has on the children. Additionally, working with the CAF staff has been a pleasure and everyone has been extremely friendly and hard working which makes it very easy to come back year after year.”

“I have volunteered for the Foundation for the past 20 years and will continue to volunteer because I hope that the time and support that I give will help make a difference in the lives of these children and help them live better lives.”

“I have been a teddy bear collector for many years. Teddy bears represent the child spirit in me and I cannot think of a better way to serve children that through that spirit. Making a bear each year for the Children’s Aid Foundation for the past 17 years has been a challenge to my artistry and a pleasure in my life.”

“The Children’s Aid Foundation is one of my most favorite charities and it’s because of the children. I feel that each child has a right growing up in a loving environment and I feel that the Children’s Aid Foundation contributes profoundly.”

“I volunteer at the Children’s Aid Foundation because the organization has an inspiring strategy of assisting those that are from unique and sensitive backgrounds and providing those that are in need of care – I love being part of the initiative in any way.”

“Oh my goodness! Why not?! First, I love kids. Second, I see Children’s Aid Foundation as the silver lining in a cloud. Many of these traumatized kids have been physically and sexually abuse.”

“CAF provides a warm, safe place. Gives hope. Helps that child heal and ultimately feels good about him/herself. CAF also provides resources for them to function in the outside world, which can be a very scary place. They even have a chance to further their education. So I said to myself, “I must get involved”.”

What was your first volunteer experience with the Children’s Aid Foundation?
“My first volunteer experience was being a committee member for an event called Photo Aid, where teams dressed up in fun costumes and raced around downtown Toronto solving riddles that took them to locations where they would have their photo taken.”

“My first volunteer experience with the Children’s Aid Foundation was at the Teddy Bear Affair Gala of 2011. It was my very first TBA as a volunteer and it was a memorable one. I had an amazing time interacting with our guests and helping with fundraising. It’s exciting to see how I’m still involved with Teddy Bear Affair along with all the other events.”

“Back to Back Gala at the Carlu”

“It would have been The Teddy Bear Affair I believe I was the photographers assistant.”

“My very first volunteer experience with the foundation was when CIBC, where I work, called out for volunteers for the Teddy Bear Affair and I volunteered and have been a faithful volunteer ever since.”

“I don’t remember exactly when I started to volunteer for Children’s Aid Foundation. My first impression I got was warmth of friendliness among the staff.”

“I think it was the Teddy Bear affair. Great experience. I fell in love with the bears they were selling as a fundraiser.”

What is your favourite movie?
Across the Universe
A Beautiful Mind
The Blind Side
End of Watch
Forest Gump
Manchester by the Sea and Out of Africa
One Magic Christmas
The Devil Wears Prada
The Princess Bride
Scent of a Woman
Twenty Feet from Stardom

Photos of Our Volunteers

Photos of our 2016 Volunteer Appreciation Night