Our volunteers help us in many important ways.

Special Volunteers' Days (open to the public)
Open to the public! We're having two spring Volunteers’ Days in 2015 to help prepare the Farm for Open Days: Saturday, May 2 and Saturday May 9.

Every year, before we open our gates to the public (every Wednesday and Sunday from May through October), we need to clean house – or more accurately, our gardens, woods, trails, fences, barns and laneway. It is a fun team effort where people split up into groups to fill potholes, remove downed branches, paint, wash stalls, make picnic tables, prepare gardens and more.

We supply snacks, drinks, and work gloves if you don’t have any, and some basic tools. If you have tools, (hammers, spades, shovels, chain saw), please mention when you e-mail or call to register.

Dress for the weather, bring a sandwich, and you’re all set! Rubber boots are a good idea. Our staff and regular volunteers are here to work as well as provide all the guidance/help you need on your tasks.

Many have asked whether they can bring their children – yes, we welcome them, though since the jobs are often big sweaty ones, there are tractors and other machinery in use, and lots going on, we request that children be 8 years or older.

Please contact volunteer@thedonkeysanctuary.ca if you plan to attend.

General Information About Volunteering:
Through their generous contributions of time and talents, DSC volunteers help with:

  • barnyard and paddock cleanup, (poop picking – an essential role here)
  • animal care such as grooming (e.g.hoof picking, brushing, putting on fly ointment)
  • barn chores as required by barn staff, (e.g. filling water troughs, cleaning barns, washing containers, interacting with the public by answering questions and assisting visitors in other ways on our Open Days (Wednesdays and Sundays, May through October).

This is physical labour and requires stamina and elbow grease! It’s wonderful work, and a delight to be around curious, gentle donkeys and mules (after you’ve been trained!). But it does take some muscle – and no fear of getting your hands – or clothes – dirty.

Our volunteers also help with our largest fundraising events - Donkey Day and Pace for the Donkeys, and outside community events when the donkeys are taken offsite to visit. Event duties include helping with parking, booths, set up and take down, cleanup, giving directions, answering questions, and much more. So, if you're at least 16 years of age, and interested in volunteering, read on for more about the ways you can help.

Training: Each volunteer is asked to attend an orientation session, followed by a specialized training session. Contact volunteer@thedonkeysanctuary.ca for more information about registering for one of our sessions. The sessions are usually for 4 hours and are held on Saturdays.

2015 Orientation Dates:
Spring Orientation: April 11 and April 18, 2015 (Full)
Summer Orientation: July 18 and July 25, 2015 (Full)

We'll train you in the fine art of donkey care, and you'll have the opportunity to share in a world that is far far away from your daily concerns.

Donkey Day
Our biggest fundraiser, Donkey Day attracts 2000+ visitors every year. With so many visitors, we need all kinds of help with food, parking, tickets, donkey care and more.
This year, we'll need help on:
Donkey Day setup day: Saturday June 13, 2015 – 9:30 am to 1pm.
Donkey Day: Sunday June 14, 2015 – 9:30 - 4:30 (lunch will be provided to volunteers)

Please contact lori@thedonkeysanctuary.ca if you plan to attend. (If you can arrive by 8:00 am on Donkey Day that would be greatly appreciated.)

Pace for the Donkeys
Our 3rd annual Race will be held on Sunday September 27, 2015. The Run starts at 10:00 and we would need volunteers for that day to be here by 8 am to help with set up. If you are interested in helping out Race day please contact ruth@thedonkeysanctuary.ca.

If any of these volunteering opportunities appeal to you, please email volunteer@thedonkeysanctuary.ca (other than the events) or call 519-836-1697, and we can tell you more, and get you started.

Thanks very much for your interest - we hope to hear from you soon.