TMG Ways of Caring is a volunteer initiative organized by TMG colleagues to support efforts of not-for-profit agencies in our broader community. The purpose of this initiative is to deepen the understanding of the McMaster community towards the complex issues facing Hamilton. It aims to assist the efforts of community agencies to improve the quality and conditions of their clients’ lives. It strengthens the service-oriented and collaborative culture amongst TMG employees and helps identify how this knowledge can inform our work as a university.
In 2020, and in response to health and safety protocols during the pandemic, the working group took a different approach and offered multiple, short-term ways to give back to our local community. Whether using professional skills – such as mentoring, facilitating, and strategic planning – or gathering family or colleagues to collect much needed supplies for individuals who are vulnerable, there was something for everyone.
As per the TMG Time and Leave Provisions Guidelines, participation in the TMG Day of Service (Ways of Caring) is to be considered work time. Planning time off for this initiative is initiated by the TMG member and approved by the supervisor.
The 2020 initiative took place during November and December 2020. Our working group is currently exploring options for the 2021 initiative. Check back for more details as they become available.
Ways to Care for Our Community
In 2020 we partnered with multiple Halton and Hamilton agencies to provide a diverse selection of volunteer opportunities in support of our broader community.
In alignment with Patrick Deane’s Forward with Integrity strategy, which encouraged the University to deepen its commitment and contribution to the community, TMG members recognized the tremendous opportunity to become actively involved, serving as a model of university citizenship by supporting & engaging with our local community.
In 2013, with our efforts to promote the spirit of volunteerism in partnership with various employees and champion the experience of our employee community through proactive engagement, a sub-committee of the TMG Committee recommended a TMG Day of Service initiative. The recommendation was in response to an interest shown by TMG employees to strengthen the sense of community and encourage collaboration amongst colleagues. This initiative was seen to be of great value to the University.
Specifically, the purpose of the TMG Day of Service was to:
- Deepen our individual and collective understanding of the complex issues facing the Hamilton community
- Assist the efforts of community agencies to improve the quality and conditions of their clients lives
- Identify and discuss shared management challenges faced by community and university leaders
- Strengthen a service-oriented and collaborative culture amongst TMG employees
- Reflect on our service learning and identify how this knowledge will inform our work as university leaders
- Celebrate and share our experience from this day with the entire community during a TMG Forum
A TMG Day of Service proposal was presented to the President and Vice-Presidents and the initiative was fully endorsed and supported. Subsequently, a Working Group was established by the Sub-Committee to launch this initiative.
In 2020, and in response to health and safety protocols during the COVID-19 pandemic, the working group took a different approach and offered multiple, short-term ways to give back to our local community. Whether using professional skills – such as mentoring, facilitating, and strategic planning – or gathering family or colleagues to collect much needed supplies for individuals who are vulnerable, there was something for everyone.
Highlights for the 2020 initiative included:
- flexibility to participate in one or more volunteer opportunities from a selection of 21 different initiatives
- options to volunteer independently, with family members, or as a remote team
- all initiatives were available as either remote/virtual or included a contact-free drop-off component
- a chance to learn about current social barriers in Hamilton through educational materials provided with registration
Based on survey feedback, this year the committee partnered with multiple community agencies throughout the Downtown Hamilton area to offer the annual Day of Service
Highlights for the 2019 initiative included:
- a kickoff with the Office of Community Engagement
- an opportunity to learn about current social barriers in Hamilton through a walking tour of three not-for profit agencies
- lunch (paid by participants) at the Wesley First Start Café; a unique social enterprise
- multiple opportunities to network with other TMG members
- volunteering in small groups at an agency of their choice from a selection of seven partners
- free transportation to and from Downtown Hamilton
2018 – feedback from the 2017 Day of Service was overwhelmingly positive so we returned to McQuesten Farm in May 2018!
2017 – the TMG Day of Service occurred on September 2017, which was coordinated by a working committee. Approximately 60 TMG participants served the McQuesten Community at McQuesten Urban Farm. This new location provided an opportunity for all participants to volunteer in one place, which allowed for a greater connection among TMG members and a larger impact for an area of Hamilton with a strong need for support.
2016 – TMG Day of Service occurred in September 2016 again led by a working committee and included over 50 TMG participants serving a number of placement centers throughout the Hamilton Community.
2015 – the TMG sub-committee organized the TMG Day of Service which occurred on April 16th and over 8 placement agencies were engaged providing over 70 TMG employees the opportunity to volunteer their services. The initiative resulted in yet another successful community based opportunity for our TMG Community.
2014 – the TMG sub-committee recommended that due to the timing of the upcoming launches of Mosaic modules, and feedback received from participants, that the initiative would be postponed in 2014 and take place during Canada’s National Volunteer Week in April, 2015.
2013 – In November 2013, over 80 TMG members participated in the pilot. Volunteers provided a day of service to over 8 community agencies and the initiative was a tremendous success. Groups of up to 12 people were led by a volunteer Team Lead acting as a group facilitator to ensure the accomplishment of learning objectives and training on community service-learning best practices. The Student Success Centre was a partner in the organization of this day due to their past experience with community agencies.
After the successful pilot in late 2013, there was a strong call from participants to continue the positive experience for the TMG population. The President and Vice-Presidents recognized the impact on the TMG community and endorsed the continuation of an annual day devoted to community service for TMG members.