Our volunteers are the lifeblood of CNIB. From the caring Canadians who work directly with our clients as Vision Mates, to those who answer the phones, narrate accessible audio books, organize events or share their own experiences of vision loss with others as peer support group leaders, we simply couldn’t keep our doors open without them. To all of our volunteers across the country, we send a heartfelt thank you!

Giving and gaining

As a full-time university student, it isn’t always easy for Justin Buttar to find the time to volunteer. But he does, with pleasure, in his role as a Vision Mate for CNIB.

For the past 18 months, Justin has been visiting regularly with a CNIB client in his local area in Vancouver, BC. Because of her vision loss, she can have trouble doing daily tasks and getting out and about. As her Vision Mate, Justin helps her with small things like reading, shopping and just talking – but it all makes a big difference in her life.

The best part is, Justin feels like he’s gained as much as he’s given.

“I am astounded at the knowledge that I have gained from this volunteer experience,” he says. “My client is caring, understanding and appreciative of the time I take to spend with her. I am continually inspired by her determination and outlook on life.”

A shoulder to lean on

As someone who has experienced vision loss herself, Linda Bosch knows how important support groups can be after a loss of sight. For Linda, connecting with other people who knew what she was going through was a lifeline when she needed it most.

“The group originally gave me a reason to get out of my house once a month when my vision loss continued to decline,” says the Brockville, Ontario, resident. “…It was a great opportunity to socialize and get to know others who are living with vision loss.”

Now Linda is paying it forward by volunteering as a CNIB support group leader, helping other people talk through the challenges they’re facing with their own vision loss – sharing tips, techniques, experiences and, when it’s needed, a shoulder to lean on.

“It’s given me a chance to volunteer and give back to an organization that I have benefitted from, and a program that has been so important to me,” she says.

Join our volunteer team

Nationwide, our volunteers contributed the equivalent of more than 34,000 work days last year.

Over the past year, CNIB has gained more than 1,300 new volunteers who are now generously donating their time and talents to our cause, right across the country.

Last year, our volunteers across Canada contributed more than 240,000 hours to support CNIB’s mission.

To learn about opportunities in your community, call us at 1-800-563-2642 or visit cnib.ca/volunteer

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