Student Conference Aims to Spur Volunteerism

January 17, 2011 - News Release

Did you know that doing something as simple as helping to stack chairs, signing a petition or providing free business advice to a non-profit organization during your bus ride commute are all acts of volunteering?

It's called micro-volunteering, and it's one of the topics to be discussed at the Do So Much Weekend to be held at the University of Guelph Jan. 22 from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at various locations on campus. Registration starts at 9 a.m., and a registration table will be set up in the University Centre.

Organized by Student Volunteer Connections (SVC), the free conference is intended to spur youth volunteerism across Ontario. Students from nearby universities and area high schools will attend guest talks, workshops and a panel discussion.

“This conference is targeted at new volunteers, the average student who doesn’t go out looking for volunteer opportunities,” said Jordan Thompson, SVC director. “The goal is to show students that volunteering allows you to develop skills and relationships and to have fun. We also want to emphasize that volunteering is not just an extra fluff in communities but an actual structure that holds communities together.”

Keynote speakers will be the following:

• Dave Kranenburg, executive director of Meal Exchange: youth volunteerism and social change; and

• Cheryl Rose, founding director of the Canadian Alliance for Community Service Learning: volunteerism and social innovation.

Workshops will provide tips on mobilizing others and networking to reach volunteering goals.

A University Centre display called “Social Media for Social Good” will showcase online tools for social action and micro-volunteering, defined as voluntary participation in small, brief day-to-day situations.

“Micro-volunteerism promotes just being a responsible and civilized person,” said Thompson.

Organizations and student volunteers will discuss their experiences during a participatory workshop called “What’s It Gonna Take?” offered by the Volunteer Centre of Guelph-Wellington and SVC.

“The organizations will be talking about opportunities where they were able to engage youth, and youth will share volunteer experiences where they felt appreciated,” said Thompson.

Panellists and guests will also participate in a World Café discussion of what’s needed to involve youth in community building. Proceedings will become part of a resource guide for community organizations to engage youth in volunteer initiatives.

To register and to receive a free delegate pass (access to conference, lunch, dinner and a resource manual), visit For further information, send email to

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, 519-824-4120, Ext. 53338, or, or Deirdre Healey, Ext. 56982 or

University of Guelph
50 Stone Road East
Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1