Volunteering with ABLE2: Making a Difference in Your Community

Volunteerism is the foundation of ABLE2

ABLE2, formerly known as Citizen Advocacy of Ottawa-Carleton, started in 1974 by David Hall, and Eileen Scotton was the first Executive Director. ABLE2 aims to create opportunities for people with disabilities to lead fulfilling lives by providing them with support, resources, and services.

Initially, the organization recruited volunteers from local communities who would offer one-to-one assistance to individuals with intellectual disabilities through the Matching Program. Over the years, ABLE2 expanded its services and programs to support a broader range of people across the disability spectrum, including Build Community, Person-Directed Planning and Facilitation, Funding Brokerage and the Fetal Alcohol Resource Program.

There are several ways to volunteer with ABLE2. One of the most popular options is still through the Matching Program. The program matches individuals with intellectual disabilities with volunteers from the community who act as their Ally. Volunteer Allies provide one-to-one support, assistance, and guidance to help the individuals achieve their goals and lead meaningful lives. The benefits for those who are matched include: reduced loneliness and isolation, help to achieve hopes and dreams, assistance to develop personal networks and relationships, decreased vulnerability, increased self-confidence and improved mental and physical health.

Grace and Maryse’s Story

Grace Daigle, who was feeling lonely after moving to Ottawa from Toronto, joined ABLE2’s matching program to find a companion. Maryse Cote-Singer, a volunteer, joined the program after learning about the need for volunteer allies on the organization’s Facebook page. Maryse saw many ways she could help Grace, and she provided practical assistance as Grace navigated a new city. Now, their visits are all about having fun. They celebrate milestones, birthdays, and holidays together, and spending time together and talking about their week means the world to both of them. Maryse considers Grace part of her Ottawa family, and Grace says Maryse makes her day.

ABLE2 achieves its goals is through volunteers. Volunteers play an essential role in the organization, and their contributions are critical to offering friendship and support to those in need.

By volunteering with ABLE2, you can make a difference in the lives of individuals with disabilities in your community.

Published by

Heather Lacey

Experienced Non-Profit Executive DirectorPublished

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