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What is Change the World?

Change the World: Ontario Youth Volunteer Challenge is a six-week campaign presented by Sarnia Gives with the goal of getting high school students to volunteer in their community. Students get the community involvement hours they need to graduate high school.

How we started:

Change The World started out as a test project in 2008, with the goal of getting 300 youth to volunteer locally. Volunteer opportunities were coordinated by 7 volunteer centres. Our frst year was a huge success. Over 900 youth volunteered in their cities and towns during the campaign.

In 2009, 19 volunteer centres came on board and over 8,500 youth volunteered.

For 2010 the campaign was extended to 3 weeks. Over 11,000 youth and volunteer centres participated surpassing our goal of 10,000.

For 2011, 21 volunteer centres took part representing more than 265 communities across Ontario. Once again, we surpassed our target. Almost 15,000 youth volunteered nearly 70,000 hours. That’s a 24% increase in volunteer hours over the 2010 campaign!

In 2012, 25 volunteer centres took up the challenge, helping us to surpass our target yet again!

In 2013, we had a total of 38, 000 high school youth volunteering over 170,000 hours in their communities.

In 2014, over 39,000 youth volunteered over 209,000 hours!

Why Volunteer?

  •  Get the volunteer hours you need for graduation
  •  Build your resume and expand job opportunities
  •  Learn and develop new skills
  •  Meet new people
  •  Learn about your community
  •  Identify your abilities and interests – what can you do, what do you enjoy doing?

How do I find volunteer opportunities in my community?

  • Contact your local volunteer centre, Sarnia Gives
  • Attend volunteer events on not-for-profit agency websites
  • Contact local service clubs, cultural groups, your place of worship

Does this count towards my 40 hour community credits?

Yes. Volunteer hours gained during the Change The World campaign count towards community service hours needed for graduation. Please speak with your school, Sarnia Gives or the Ontario Volunteer Centre Network so that they can help you record these hours for school.

How much time do I have to volunteer?

For the 2014 Change the World challenge, were asking Ontario youth to volunteer three hours during the six-week campaign, which starts during National Volunteer Week, April 12th - May 24th, and continues to May 24th.

Can I create my own volunteer project?

Yes. If you are interested in creating your own volunteer project during the campaign, just connect with Sarnia Gives, a teacher, counsellor or the Ontario Volunteer Centre Network to ensure it counts towards the youth challenge.

Can anybody volunteer?

The Change the World Ontario Youth Volunteer Challenge is a program designed for high school students looking for volunteer opportunities in their community. If you’re not a student, volunteer centres such as Sarnia Gives may have many opportunities for you to volunteer in your community.

Do I have to be 14 or older to volunteer?

In order for the volunteer hours to count towards our campaign goal, you must be between 14-18 years of age; however, there are opportunities for people of all ages to volunteer.

When is National Volunteer Week?

National Volunteer Week takes place annually in April. This year, National Volunteer Week will take place from April 12th to the 18th. What is the partnership with the Ministry of Education’s Student

Voice initiative about?

Student Voice and Change the World are both helping to engage youth in their schools and community. SpeakUp projects are a part of the Ministry of Education’s Student Voice initiative. Since 2010, students have been able to apply for the SpeakUp project grants to create studentled volunteer projects during the Change the World campaign. For information on the Ministry of Education’s Student Voice initiative, visit

How do I register my hours for Change the World?

Visit to register your hours to reach our goal of 1000 hours locally!

How do I know what events are taking place in my community during Change the World?

Be sure to visit for a calendar of events taking place throughout the community. We will also be sharing information about volunteer opportunities through social media. You can also contact your school’s Change The World Ambassador for more information.