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How We Help - Why We Help
CURRENT COMMUNITY STORIES
Good Samaritan: Mike Shaw (GOOD SAMARITAN)
BookMark (BOOK REVIEW)
The Society of Saint Vincent de Paul London Youth Conference
REEL REVIEW - SHERLOCK GNOMES (MOVIE REVIEW)
The United Church & The Province of BC Partner to Provide Affordable Housing
Where’s God!? (HUMOUR)
17 Christian Ways to Say No – A video by John Crist (VIDEO)
Many Pastors Overworked, Feel Inadequate, Says Survey
Light the Fire Again


There is one common element to (almost) all of the servant ministries in London, or anywhere else in Canada for that matter. Ministries need financial donations and need volunteers to be successful in fulfilling their mandate.

The Money - Financial Donations: The most recent statistics confirm what we already now, Canadians are generous. Annual recorded charitable donations to non-profit organizations totaling topped $10.6 billion.

The average annual amount per donor was $446, while the median amount was $123.

In addition to financial donations, 79% of all Canadians people give clothing, toys or household items to charitable or non-profit organizations and 62% of the population gave food. Overall, 94% of all Canadians aged 15 and over give goods or food, or made a financial donation!

The Time - Volunteering: It was not too long ago that if you wanted to help out, you just showed up at the hospital, the Scout meeting, the food bank or any servant ministry to offer to help out and you were welcomed with open arms. It is not that easy anymore as more and more safeguards are being introduced to protect the vulnerable.

Ministries for the most part fall under the not-for-profit sector. This is one of the most diverse economic sectors affecting the lives of every Ontarian through social services, the arts, sports and recreation, environmental conservation, community health services and of coarse faith.


The latest available figures show that more than 5 million Ontarians donate over 820 million hours of their time volunteering every year. As shown later in this piece 21% of those that volunteer do so to fulfill religious obligations or beliefs. 59% of volunteers say they give of their time because they are personally affected by the organization's cause.

The other reasons given?

In addition to fulfill religious obligations or beliefs or because they are personally affected by the organization's cause, Canadians state that the primary reason they volunteer is..
  • to make a contribution to community (93%);
  • to use skills and experience (78%);
  • to explore one's own strengths (48%);
  • because their friends volunteer (48%);
  • to network with others (46%);
  • to improve job opportunities (22%); and

The latest stats show that 47% (or over 13 million) volunteer. In total 2 billion hours were volunteered, the equivalent of 1.1 million full time jobs. On average, volunteers contributed 156 hours each (roughly 21 working days).

Organizations in the not for profit sector recognize effective risk management in service delivery as an essential component of ensuring program quality, protection of vulnerable clients and sector credibility.

Organizations also acknowledge that police records checks can be an integral part of comprehensive risk management practices.

What is a Police Records Check

Police services in Ontario comply with various statutes when conducting police records checks, especially with respect to the protection of personal information.

In May 2011, the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police released a guideline on police records checks. The guideline is intended to assist police services to understand and apply relevant legislation, policies and procedures, and directives in processing police records check requests. It is also intended to promote consistency in processing methods as well as terminology used across the province. The implementation of the guidelines is voluntary.

Police services conduct records checks by searching their various databases and the RCMP National Repository of Criminal Records according to the type of request. Depending on the type of search, here are some examples of information that may be provided:
  • criminal convictions, outstanding entries, such as charges and warrants;
  • criminal charges resulting in dispositions including, but not limited to, stayed, withdrawn, and dismissed charges;
  • police contacts including, but not limited to, theft, weapons, sex offences, or violent, harmful and threatening behaviour; and
  • family court restraining orders.

In cases where the search is inconclusive or there is a match to a criminal record, the applicant may be required to submit a set of fingerprints to confirm his or her identity.

Why Obtain a Police Records Check

Not-for-profit organizations may use police records checks as one of the ways to screen staff and volunteers. Generally, the screening process can differ for each organization depending on the nature of their work, the level of risk to which participants are exposed and the statute that governs the organization. It is the responsibility of the organization to determine what types of police records checks are most appropriate to screen staff and volunteers. 

Organizations that provide direct service or are responsible for the well-being of children or vulnerable persons may request a "vulnerable sector" check for employees or volunteers in accordance with the Criminal Records Act.

A vulnerable sector check is a search based on a name or gender and date of birth against the RCMP National Repository of Criminal Records, Pardoned Sex Offender Database and various other police databases. If there is a possible match to a record in the Pardoned Sex Offender Database based on gender and date of birth, the applicant will be required to provide fingerprints to confirm his or her identity 

The Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services, in partnership with the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration, established a working group to assist in highlighting legislative and/or regulatory requirements as they relate to mandating police records checks for the NFP sector.

While it may seem unnecessary to subject yourself to a Police check, fingerprinting and/ or other forms of the vulnerable sector checks, it IS necessary. Please don't resist the checks, embrace them. When and where you volunteer, you will find out what form of checks you will need and once the checks are complete, your most gratifying work can begin.
If you know you want to volunteers, but you are just not sure where you can be of the most help, talk to your Pastor or click HERE to visit the CCNL site listing London and area servant ministries. Just about any one of these are looking for your help.