Ehatare is an Estonian, not-for-profit retirement and nursing home, owned and operated by the Estonian Relief Committee in Canada. There are approximately 100 residents in the retirement home, and 32 in the nursing home. At Ehatare residents depend on our volunteers for many of the special moments in their lives.

We have over 60 active volunteers working at Ehatare. The results of a recent Volunteer Assessment of the Volunteer Program showed that on average volunteers have been volunteering at Ehatare for 12 years. Many have volunteered at Ehatare for more than 20 years. Imagine that!

What kinds of things do they do when they come? The list is long. The more visible volunteers can be seen:

  • calling out Bingo
  • reading to the sight-impaired
  • running discussion groups
  • running the library
  • accompanying residents to appointments
  • friendly visiting
  • as a meal companion
  • helping to transport the wheel-chair bound to chapel services
  • helping at parties and special events like our outdoor summer BBQs and Candlelight Dinner, Xmas bazaar making and/or serving food and refreshments, setting up, decorating, transporting residents, cleaning up, selling lottery tickets, etc.
  • seasonal decorating
  • accompanying groups on outings
  • helping out with fundraisers in various ways
  • performing music
  • leading singalongs
  • leading Bible study
  • leading church services
  • visiting with their pets

Other, not so visible jobs include:

  • sitting on the Estonian Relief Committee Board of Directors
  • writing articles and photographing events for newspapers
  • knitting blankets
  • sitting on the Family Council (resident family members)
  • arranging photo displays.

Volunteering is ever-changing and dynamic. Residents needs and interests change: some residents cease activities; others commence or renew interests. It is difficult to describe the contribution volunteers make to life at Ehatare. It is unique and of tremendous importance to the people whose lives they touch. We believe that this benefit can be mutual.

Todays volunteers receive full orientation to Ehatare and basic training. The training generally covers communication skills, age-related conditions, common medical conditions and other valuable information on how you can better assist the aged. Volunteers are also invited, free of cost, to participate in special programs and in-services that are offered to staff.

Volunteering at Ehatare can help you

  • explore career options by working in different settings, with various professionals,
  • strengthen your resume by adding new skills and experience ,
  • develop leadership skills by working with others on special projects,
  • meet new people,
  • enjoy new challenges.

A successful recruitment program with local high schools has brought us many youth volunteers looking to fulfil the 40 community volunteer hours required for graduation. As a result, students now approach us themselves about volunteering. When asked why, their response was: We heard Ehatare was a fun place to volunteer! Several of these volunteers now have part-time jobs here.

It takes a very special young person to volunteer with seniors, and Im happy to say there are many such young people in the community. We would love to see more Estonian youth at Ehatare. If distance is a problem, hours are flexible, ie. you can volunteer for several hours at a time.

If you are at least 13 years of age and enjoy working with seniors, there is a volunteer opportunity for you at Ehatare. Contact by phone or e-mail Ehatares Activity Director: (416) 284-0828.

Download the volunteer application form:


© 2006- Ehatare Retirement & Nursing Home