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Meet Our Team: Kelly DeVries

Posted By Roxanne English, Community Engagement Assistant, September 5, 2016
Updated: September 2, 2016

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

This may surprise you but Volunteer Toronto doesn't run itself (insert gasp here!). As Canada's largest volunteer centre, we operate on the people power of 8 full-time staff, 5 contract staff, 60 + volunteers and an abundance of passion.  

Our team comes from places all over the country and the world; Winnipeg, PEI, England, Sri Lanka, USA and Grenada to name a few. Each one of us draws from our own unique experiences and contributes our skills in the hopes of building a more caring city. 

So far we have featured Camara Chambers, Director of Community Engagement, our Grassroots Growth team, and our Director of Engaging Organizations, Melina Condren. 

Next up... our Community Engagement Coordinator!


 

WHO: Kelly DeVries

ROLE: Community Engagement Coordinator

# YEARS AT VT: 1

PLACE OF BIRTH: Oakville, Ontario

FAVOURITE SONG: There is nothing like 90s R&B!

 

What do you do at Volunteer Toronto?

My main focus is on our outreach to members of the public. Overseeing an amazing team of staff and volunteers, we focus on educating people about volunteering and empowering and motivating them to get started! I seek to ensure that people have the information and resources they need to volunteer. This happens through our Referral Services where people can meet one-on-one to have their questions answered; our Outreach presentations and events where we go into the community and talk to folks about volunteering and our blog and newsletter.

 

Kelly DeVries - Volunteer Toronto 

 Kelly prepping organizations for our Senior's Fair

 

 

What do you like most about your job?

 

I love working with volunteers! The volunteers I have the pleasure of working with bring such unique skills, enthusiasm and creativity to their roles. I love seeing people develop and explore themselves while volunteering. I've seen first-hand the impact volunteering has on the organization, clientele and on the volunteer themselves. One of my favourite things is to have an idea of tasks that need to be done in the Community Engagement Department, and then explore with a volunteer how their skills and experience can take that task to the next level. Volunteers are amazing!


  Kelly chatting with volunteers at the Dance Marathon

Kelly chatting with volunteers at the Dance Marathon

 

What was your most enjoyable volunteer experience?

When I first moved to Toronto, I was looking to make connections and friends in the city. I started volunteering for special events with the 519 Church Street Community Centre. These special events included fundraisers, an LGBTQ Volunteer Fair and the Pride Beer Garden. It was an amazing way to meet new people, explore resources the across the city and make connections. Also it was simply fun to be involved in such a vibrant hub and celebrate the diversity of people in Toronto!

 

What's one of your hidden talents most people don't know about?

One of my favourite things about the summertime is playing on my flag football team with Flags of Glory. I've made some of my best friends in the city through this league. It is so much fun! This year I'm the captain of the team which is amazing!


Kelly playing football

Kelly catching a football like a pro!

 

Of all your favourite foods, which is one that you would find hardest to give up for the rest of your life and why?

I absolutely love dill pickles. I think they are the tastiest thing ever. I cannot imagine having to give them up for the rest of my life! I have trouble going a week without eating several.

 

What's the most unusual item in your desk drawer?

Double salted licorice is a Dutch treat from my childhood. It has a very unique taste! I've never met someone who didn't grow up eating who hasn't spit it out at first try :) Delicious!

  

Kelly Desk Drawer 

Kelly's desk drawer


Stay tuned in October for our next feature!

Roxanne EnglishRoxanne English supports Volunteer Toronto’s community outreach by coordinating events, delivering presentations on how to volunteer, and representing Volunteer Toronto at events across this city. With Roxanne’s help, we’ll be able to provide more people with information about volunteering in Toronto.

Tags:  Kelly DeVries  Staff at VT  Volunteer Toronto staff  Who works at Volunteer Toronto 

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Meet Our Team: Camara Chambers

Posted By Roxanne English, Community Engagement Assistant, June 13, 2016
Updated: June 13, 2016

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

This may surprise you but Volunteer Toronto doesn't run itself (insert gasp here!). As Canada's largest volunteer centre, we operate on the people power of 8 full-time staff, 5 contract staff, 60 + volunteers and an abundance of passion.  

Our team comes from places all over the country and the world; Winnipeg, PEI, England, Sri Lanka, USA and Grenada to name a few. Each one of us draws from our own unique experiences and contributes our skills in the hopes of building a more caring city. 

In this new monthly blog series, we'd like to give you the opportunity to meet and learn more about some of these people. 

First up...our Director of Community Engagement


 

WHO: Camara Chambers

ROLE: Director of Community Engagement

# YEARS AT VT: 4

PLACE OF BIRTH: London, England

FAVOURITE SONG: Whitney Houston's "I Wanna Dance with Somebody"

FAVOURITE PIECE OF ADVICE: “There’s no such thing as can’t.” This is something my mother would always say. You’re only limited by your own beliefs and so the moment you degrade yourself, and tell yourself it’s not possible, then it isn’t. You have just as much ability and potential as anyone else.

 

What do you do at Volunteer Toronto?

I oversee all of the work Volunteer Toronto does to encourage Torontonians to volunteer.  Our Community Engagement team promotes volunteering in the community and provides info and tips on volunteering to make finding the right role easy. My role involves managing the team, our annual plans, campaigns and budgets, writing applications for grants and ensuring we're working as efficiently and effectively as possible.

 

Camara Chambers - Volunteer Toronto 

 Camara, leading one of the first Trailblazer Series

 

 

What do you like most about your job?

 

The variety of my role! It's fun to do a job that uses a wide range of skills like marketing, presenting, supervising staff, writing reports, researching, problem solving, event planning...and many more.


  Camara Chambers at Volunteer Toronto volunteer appreciation

Camara (right) with Youth Auditor Seher (left)
at our volunteer appreciation event 

 

What was your most enjoyable volunteer experience?

My favourite volunteer experience was with a youth drop-in program at St. Felix Centre, a local community centre in downtown Toronto. The program was for children and youth in the local neighbourhood and provided them with a safe space to hang out with their friends on Friday nights. I volunteered there for a year and a half and loved it. The experience was so rewarding and I met some amazing people there who I am still friends with today.

 

What's one of your hidden talents most people don't know about?

I recently started aerial yoga, which is a cross between circus arts and yoga, so that's a secret talent not many people know I have.


Camara Chambers Aerial Yoga

Camara taking part in Aerial Yoga

 

Of all your favourite foods, which is one that you would find hardest to give up for the rest of your life and why?

I love anything with coconut in it, so I'd find that difficult to give up.

 

What's the most unusual item in your desk drawer?

Hemp hearts. I'm a bit of a health food enthusiast and I've recently started eating hemp hearts which are raw shelled hemp seeds. They're tastier than they sound, are great sprinkled on my morning cereal and are full of protein! 

  

Hemp Hearts 

Camara's hemp hearts


Stay tuned in July for our next feature!

Roxanne EnglishRoxanne English supports Volunteer Toronto’s community outreach by coordinating events, delivering presentations on how to volunteer, and representing Volunteer Toronto at events across this city. With Roxanne’s help, we’ll be able to provide more people with information about volunteering in Toronto.

Tags:  Meet the Volunteer Toronto staff  Volunteer Toronto Staff  VT Staff  Who works at Volunteer Toronto 

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