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Volunteer

Our volunteers are an essential part of our organization. Whether leading support groups, organizing fundraising and memorial events, supporting grief literacy work or serving on one of our committees, our volunteers make our work possible!

COMMITMENT TO EQUITY:
BFO-MR’s Board of Directors, leadership and staff are committed to equity work. We have started this work internally and know that in order to best serve communities, this work must be intentional and ongoing. We are committed to having our team represent diverse communities. We welcome and encourage the broad range of lived experiences, skills and knowledge that applicants with diverse abilities, race, sexual orientation, gender identity, and ethnicity bring.

Current Opportunities

Peer Grief Support Facilitator

Our peer grief support programs are not possible without the incredible care and compassion of our volunteer facilitators. We are actively recruiting facilitators with the ultimate goal of increasing our capacity to offer virtual and in-person options for all programs. If you are at a point in your grief where you feel ready to support others, please apply today. We also accept letters of interest and/or a resume with accompanying cover letter emailed to volunteer@bfomidwest.org. We are currently accepting applications for Fall 2024 Facilitator Training.

While training is a requirement of our Peer Facilitator role, submitting and application does not guarantee an interview. In addition, completing training does not guarantee you will move into the Peer Facilitator role. Training is one aspect of the assessment process to determine readiness for this important role. 

During the process, you may find you’re not in a place in you grief where you can facilitate, and that’s ok. We also recognize that facilitating isn’t for everyone and that skills and readiness may not align. Whatever the case may be, we want everyone to know how much we appreciate the time and energy you have put into this process.

Facilitator training is a requirement for volunteers who apply to lead BFO-MR’s peer support grief groups. Training is provided over 2-3 days and combines both in-person and virtual aspects. Day 1 and 2 are required for all facilitators, with day 3 being a requirement for any volunteer who wishes to facilitate a closed program (i.e. program for parents grieving the death of an infant or child). Day 3 covers the closed format and story sharing aspects of the group.

While the third day of training is geared towards closed groups, we welcome all that are active in the training to attend and participate.

DEADLINE FOR PEER GRIEF SUPPORT FACILITATOR APPLICATIONS IS: AUGUST 26th, 2024

DAY ONE (virtual) – ALL FACILITATORS:
September 11 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

  • Introduction to staff, the organization, and the other trainees
  • Learn what peer support is
  • Review of guidelines and purpose of group
  • Creating safety and trust as a facilitator
  • The importance of setting boundaries
  • How to support yourself/how we support you
  • Equity work at BFO

DAY TWO (in-person) – ALL FACILITATORS:
September 14 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

  • Your role as a facilitator (and co-facilitator)
  • How to prepare for group
  • Setting up the physical space
  • How to be an active and empathetic listener
  • Working with emotions
  • Essential facilitator skills and interventions
  • Trauma-informed care
  • Dealing with challenging behaviours and common difficulties in group
  • Review of the suicide risk protocol
  • Learn how to debrief and about the importance of self-care
  • Next steps – onboarding

Day 3 (half-day in person) Required for child/infant loss facilitators, optional for others:
September 15 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

  • The stages of group development
  • Group process
  • Story sharing (everyone shares their story)
  • Closing a group

Our facilitator training program is generously supported by the Ontario Trillium Foundation’s Resilient Communities Fund.

Professional Advisory Committee

The Professional Advisory Committee (PAC) serves as an interprofessional body that provides guidance and supports the organization with matters concerning peer grief support best practices, program review and development and evaluation, and serves as a liaison with the community. PAC facilitates dialogue, supports decision-making, and promotes excellence in the domains of peer grief support and education.

COMMITTEE COMPOSITION:

PAC is comprised of individuals who provide their unique knowledge, experience and expertise in grief and loss to complement the skills of BFO staff and Board of Directors to effectively guide the organization.

The committee will ideally be composed of up to 6 individuals specializing and/or registered in fields such as: Social Work, Psychology, Grief and Loss, Policy Development, Community Development, Health Care, and fields/specializations related to the aforementioned.

Note: PAC does not have formal authority to govern the organization. The committee cannot issue directives which must be followed. Rather, it serves to make recommendations and/or provide key information and materials to the organization and work collaboratively with the staff team.

OBJECTIVES:

  • Monitor and assess existing BFO-MR programming
  • Advise and provide recommendations to staff on initiatives related to program manuals and group materials
  • Identify programming and resource gaps in the Waterloo-Wellington Community and advise on the creation of new programming where gaps exist
  • Represent professional practice issues in decision making
  • Collaborate with staff to brainstorm and research relevant topic areas for BFO-MR’s biennial conference
  • Consult with BFO-MR staff regarding professional development opportunities for staff and volunteer facilitators

ACTIVITIES MAY INCLUDE BUT ARE NOT LIMTIED TO:

  • Regular review of program manuals and group materials
  • Advising on necessary updates to materials, policies and procedures to ensure best practices in peer support are followed and that diversity, equity and inclusion objectives are being met
  • Review of evaluations completed by program participants to identify issues of concern or areas for improvement and growth
  • Contribute to and participate in the organization’s strategic planning process

TIME COMMITMENT: PAC meets four times per year. Work outside of the meetings to complete and/or contribute to the activities above is required.

To apply, fill out an application here, or send your cover letter and resume to volunteer@bfomidwest.org.

Fundraising Committee

Bereaved Families of Ontario – Midwestern Region programs are offered free charge. The work we do providing peer grief support, education and outreach programming and community initiatives is made possible through the generosity of donors, grants, events, corporate support and fundraising initiatives.

As a small staff team, our networks are somewhat limited. The fundraising committee can help us broaden our reach, build valuable relationships and raise more funds so people who are grieving can access the support and resources they need.

PURPOSE:

The purpose of the fundraising committee is to plan, implement, and evaluate fundraising activities that support the mission and vision of the organization. The committee works closely with staff to identify fundraising goals, strategies and opportunities.

The fundraising committee is responsible for:

  • Developing an annual fundraising plan that aligns with the organization’s strategic plan and budget
  • Identifying and cultivating potential donors, sponsors, and partners
  • Researching relevant grant opportunities
  • Soliciting and securing donations, sponsorships, and in-kind contributions
  • Support with fundraising events and campaigns
  • Acknowledging and stewarding donors and sponsors
  • Maintaining accurate and timely records of fundraising activities and outcomes
  • Reporting on fundraising progress and challenges to the Executive Director
  • Collaborating with other committees, staff, volunteers, and stakeholders to ensure effective and coordinated fundraising efforts
  • Reviewing and evaluating fundraising policies and procedures
  • Conducting research and analysis on fundraising trends and best practices

MEETING SCHEDULE:

The committee will meet virtually on a quarterly basis. It may be decided that sub-committees or task groups be established to move initiatives forward. If that’ s the case, additional meetings will be scheduled on an
as-needed basis based.

REPORTING STRUCTURE

As an operational committee for BFO, the fundraising committee reports to the Executive Director. Any requests to act on behalf of BFO in its fundraising endeavours must be approved by the Executive Director.

COMMITTEE PARTICIPANTS

The fundraising committee is comprised of the BFO Executive Director, a member of the Board of Directors and other interested and enthusiastic volunteers.

COMMITTEE TERM

We ask that fundraising committee members sign on for at least a one-year term so progress can be made, and the ongoing sustainability of the committee can be ensured.

Please fill out an application form, submit your resume to volunteer@bfomidwest.org or contact us if you’re interested in learning more.

Bingo Volunteers

Bereaved Families of Ontario – Midwestern Region (BFO-MR) is fortunate to be a recipient of funds raised through bingo sessions held at the KW Gaming Centre in Kitchener. We are one of over 60 member organizations whose sessions are generously run by volunteers.

Session teams consist of 2-3 volunteers who fill the following roles:

Front desk sales:

  • Counting card inventory
  • Greeting customers and selling bingo cards
  • Managing cash float
  • Tracking sales and calculating payouts through duration of bingo session
  • Reconciling inventory and sales at the end of the shift

Runners:

  • Assist front desk with counting card inventory at the beginning of shift
  • Selling specials before bingo begins
  • Confirm bingo winners and ensure proper payout
  • Demanding role (standing/walking for duration of shift; 4 hours)

If you’d like to learn more, please contact us at volunteer@bfomidwest.org or fill out an application form.

Interested in volunteering outside of the roles above? We’d like to hear from you to discuss how you’d like to get involved! Please contact us at volunteer@bfomidwest.org or 519-603-0196 or fill out an application form.