Last year I was a part of Blue Crew, a volunteer community of the University of Toronto Student Union. If you are new to Toronto, are in first year, or would love to learn more about U of T campus or downtown Toronto in general, I highly recommend becoming a blue crew member.
How do you become a blue crew member?
- During the beginning of winter or fall semester, you have the opportunity to apply to become a Blue Crew member. Visit their website to see when their mandatory Blue Crew member training session is to become a member. There are options in terms of when or how long you’d like to volunteer. You could volunteer for both fall and winter terms for a total of 40 hours, or volunteer for one term, either fall or for winter, for a total of 20 hours.
What kind of volunteering opportunities would you have with Blue Crew?
- You can volunteer both on-campus and off-campus, and there are multiple types of opportunities. There are large scale events such as helping with frosh week, and small events such as helping to cook monthly vegan breakfasts at local shelters. Once you are a Blue Crew member, the UTSU coordinator will email you frequently about upcoming volunteer opportunities.
What are the perks of volunteering?
- I loved volunteering with Blue Crew because it gave me the opportunity to take breaks from studying and and see more of our campus and the city at-large. There was the added benefit that volunteering with Blue Crew can often take the form of physical activity as most events require you to be upright and moving materials. In addition, I think the act of helping out was a boost for my mental health. I felt I was giving people some happiness which in turn made me happy. It’s as simple as that. Perhaps best of all is the opportunity to meet new people as you serve with your fellow Blue Crew team members. After you complete your volunteer hours, you also get a Co-Curricular Record credit and a prize (mine was a free movie ticket).
My Top Highlights as a Blue Crew member:
- Helped set-up for an event nearby Harbourfront where they held an auction for children’s toys. I adored the event space and was awed by as the quality and scope of some of the collectibles like the Infinity Gauntlet from the Marvel Cinematic Universe and a Cinderella-style carriage!
- Volunteering for U of T expo was also fun. We advertised for this event outside of the MaRS building and helped set-up for the event.
- Helping at the kitchen for vegan breakfast (on campus) and at St. Felix Centre (off campus) gave me an opportunity to learn and practice some much-needed cooking skills.
- Blue Crew helped me stay active at school and more engaged with my campus community. It was a great way to take breaks from studying and to make memories as a U of T student.
Check out the website for Blue Crew: https://www.utsu.ca/bluecrew/