COVID-19 Update

VO is implementing a plan focused on recruitment and deployment of volunteers to respond to the volunteer needs specific to COVID-19. As part of that plan we will be working with Ottawa Public Health and other agencies to ensure proper screening and training protocals to safeguard the health of those volunteering and those they are assisting. Within the next week, volunteers will be able to register for COVID-19 specific volunteering, including virtual volunteering, food delivery and transportation, and agencies will be able to post and/or send VO their COVID-19 specific needs for volunteer matching. In the interim, Agencies can view resources and additional information on our Members COVID-19 Update and volunteer resources are available at our COVID-19 Volunteer Update.

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COVID-19 Members Update

Last updated: March 27, 2020

eNewsletter/03 COVIDVO is taking the following steps to ensure continuity of our services and encourage public safety:

  • All scheduled training sessions will now be delivered online. Check our training page for updates and to register. If you have any questions, please contact Maria Lahiffe, Education Officer by email or by phone at 613-736-5266 ext 114
  • The 10th Annual VOscars Gala scheduled for April 23 has been postponed. A new date will be announced in the coming weeks. If you have purchased a ticket this will be honoured for the new date.
  • VO staff are working remotely while continuing to provide services to members. We want to hear from you about how we can help and any special requirements you may have. If you have any urgent needs that can be relayed to our volunteer pool, or have any questions, do not hesitate to contact Sophie at
  • We know that volunteer roles and not-for-profit needs are changing rapidly and that your ability to respond to volunteer applications may be limited. In view of this, we would we ask that you close any volunteer opportunities that you may have open on our website that are no longer available, while continuing to post any new volunteer needs as they arise.

As a precaution, in accordance with the Ontario Ministry of Health Guidelines, we recommend organizations take the following steps to prevent risk and safeguard volunteers and clients participating in program activities:

  • Ensure hand washing stations are available and accessible. Encourage staff, volunteers and visitors to thoroughly and regularly wash their hands and keep hands away from their face.
  • Remind volunteers of the most effective ways to stay healthy by posting or distributing informational posters 
  • Post signage and advise volunteers who are ill to stay home and postpone their volunteer activities.

The following are some resources and information on volunteer management and service continuity during this pandemic: 

  • Volunteer Canada has a number of resources on volunteer management and engagement and not-for-profit support. 
  • The City of Ottawa has created this web page to help residents get access to the most up to date official announcements on behalf of the City of Ottawa.
  • VolunteerPro has created a guide on managing uncertainty
  • ONN has created a new resource page to help not-for-profits respond to and recover from COVID-19
  • ONN wants to know how your organization is doing and how it is being impacted or anticipates being impacted. They are asking that you take 5 minutes to answer this short survey - deadline April 2, 2020
  • ONN Analysis: Ontario COVID Action Plan and Federal economic measures in response to COVID-19