Volunteer Drivers and Translators Needed as COVID Vaccines Roll Out to our Community.

As Ontario continues to roll out the COVID-19 vaccine for the general public, the primary focus remains on our most vulnerable population here in York Region. As we continue to be able to get more of our community vaccinated, the need for volunteer drivers also continues.  We are also helping book appointments. PinkCars is now looking for volunteer translators to ease the process for our residents.

Pink Cars, in collaboration with Volunteer Markham, is pleased to launch an online portal for seniors who require transportation in order to get vaccinated. Pink Cars will arrange transportation by connecting the senior with a volunteer driver. The service will also help seniors schedule their vaccination appointment if necessary.

Those interested in volunteering can apply via the Pink Cars website (URL below). Volunteer Drivers will need to submit an application form and copies of the following documents:

  • Driver’s license – with a minimum of five years of driving experience
  • Car insurance document
  • Vulnerable Sector Check – please contact Pink Cars prior to applying for this

Shanta Sunderland, Pink Cars Founder, stated her passion is driven by “Working With the Community, For the Community”.  Mirja Raita, Executive Director of Volunteer Markham, couldn’t agree more that any barriers to receiving vaccinations should be addressed immediately.   Shanta has been on the forefront of Covid-19 community response leading hundreds of volunteers to support all residents.

Thank you for your consideration! 

Visit PinkCars.ca

Media Contact:
Mirja Raita
Executive Director

Volunteer Markham’s Online Auction Has Ended. Thank you to all our supporters for making this event such a success!

For over 40 years, Volunteer Markham (VM) has been assisting our community through volunteerism. The COVID pandemic has negatively impacted our funding while increasing the essential work we are doing to help our community deal with the crisis. VM recently held it’s first ever fundraising event, our online auction, from March 24 to 28. We are so excited to have built our family, gain new friends and supporters and surpassed our goal!

Individuals and businesses helped by providing goods, services or gift cards for our auction. The donations received speaks to the value and recognition of volunteers and encouraged others to consider giving and supporting. Cash donations were also made to our charity during this time.

VM is actively supporting the community during the COVID pandemic. We have partnered with the United Way and other GTA volunteer centres in a “COVID Recovery Initiative”, we launched new programs and services, created valuable resources and collaborated with grass roots groups. This includes sourcing volunteers to support essential services including:

  • screened volunteer drivers to deliver essential services and transport vulnerable people
  • helping address food insecurity through the Food Banks in York Region
  • providing supports to seniors’ centres
  • helping the health care sector
  • helping seniors reach their vaccine appointments through the “PinkCars” initiative

Thank you for helping us to continue to provide this important support at such a critical time.

Reach out, stay connected, together we will recover!

Click here to give a cash donation

Media Contact:
Mirja Raita
Executive Director


In today’s unprecedented environment, with the world in a State of Emergency, there are always communities and individuals ready and willing to help. In a pandemic, this becomes even more challenging when we cannot physically get together. Communities, organizations and individuals are all responsible to be diligent at Social Distancing. This is taking ACTION! This is making a difference!

There are new and emerging ways that individuals can contribute and an increasing need for support now, and in the near future, to ensure the health of our communities, charities and non-profits. As many organizations work through how to protect their communities safely and responsibly, we all need to remain patient and understanding. There are numerous resources available at Volunteer Canada https://volunteer.ca for both organizations and volunteers.

Volunteer Markham is here to help connect you to needed support! Please review the following list of ways to make a difference locally!

SCOUTS CANADA is still scouting and currently recruiting for Group Leaders! Please review their website at https://www.scouts.ca/volunteer/overview.html and/or email daisy.gao@scouts.ca for more information on how to volunteer.

Markham Cares Food Drive: Donate food items at any Markham Fire Station or at Longos, No Frills, Fresh Co, Whole Food Market. For more information click on https://www.markham.ca/wps/portal/home

Canada Sews – York Region:  This wonderful community initiative in Markham has grown to support all of York Region.  On April 21, 2020 8,000 ladies and gents across Canada have sewn more than 20,000 face masks, headbands, scrub caps and scrub bags for frontline workers, shelters, seniors and First Nations communities.  Volunteers are sewing, delivering, donating materials and helping to administer to help our community stay as safe as possible.  If you would like to help or are a frontline worker in need of any of these items please email canadasews.markham@gmail.com .  For more information click on https://www.facebook.com/groups/canadasewsmarkham/

CHATS: We know seniors are experiencing new challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but CHATS is here to help. CHATS have adapted some of their existing supports and have come up with some new ways to help. Urgently needs Personal Protective Equipment. Call 905-713-6596 to learn more about Telephone Socials, Telephone Security Checks and Visits, Meals on Wheels, Supports for Caregivers and how you can help. Please consider donating to CHATS. CHATS is in urgent need for Personal Protection Equipment for their front line workers. http://www.chats.on.ca

KIDS Help Phone needs you!  You can practice social distancing and still ensure that you are helping kids when kids need someone.  For three decades, young people have been reaching out to Kids Help Phone for the support they need.  In 2018, in partnership with Crisis Text Line, Kids Help Phone launched the first ever 24/7, free, nationwide texting service. Through Crisis Text Line powered by Kids Help Phone, young people can chat confidentially with trained, volunteer Crisis Responders.  Learn how to volunteer and/or support Kids Help Phone now at https://kidshelpphone.ca/get-involved/participate/call-volunteers-crisis-text-line/ 

Markham Stouffville Hospital: Urgently needs Personal Protective Equipment . Click https://www.helpmsh.ca/ for more information (including how to create or support an online fundraiser).

Mon Sheong Foundation: Urgently needs Personal Protective Equipment (Level 2 Masks, masks with face shields, washable gowns, disposable gowns). Visit http://www.monsheong.org for various ways of giving or email samanthaho@monsheong.org.

Nanny Angel Network: Volunteers Needed. Volunteer support has been moved to a virtual opportunity to help mothers with cancer and their children. Email:
volunteer@nannyangelnetwork.com to learn more or to help.

Participation House “Making life better for people with disabilities”: Volunteers are needed to do grocery shopping for essential items. They have 4 locations in Markham for drop off  https://participationhouse.net/   Please email prerna.mehta@participationhouse.net

Yellow Brick House: Emergency Shelter is remaining operational as an essential service. Please visit https://www.yellowbrickhouse.org/ and review their “Wish List”. All donated items must be new.

Please remember, there are many ways to give!

You can donate financially to a charity of choice at https://www.canadahelps.org/en/

You can donate blood. Learn more at http://www.blood.ca

You can write letters or draw pictures for seniors or health care workers! Once completed you could snap a picture and email it to mirja.raita@volunteermarkham.ca

Currently, there is an emerging request for sewers to create “at home” face masks (not to be substituted for the PPE requirements for front line workers) for individual use. For more information on how to make these masks or where you can donate them please contact mirja.raita@volunteermarkham.ca

You NEED to stay safe, stay informed and stay connected!

Together we will get through this!