“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead

Autism Ontario York Region would be a very different place if it wasn’t for the legion of amazing people who give their time and energy, free of charge, to keep it going. They check people into our events; they man our fundraisers; they help train first responders, and liaise with both public and separate school boards.  Our volunteers are as diverse as our community, and we couldn’t manage without them. But what makes someone volunteer their time to AO York?

There’s really only one way to find out – so we asked a cross-section of our volunteers to tell us what drives them.  It’s safe to say that their reasons are as diverse as they are.  Maybe you’ll see something of yourself in their answers – if so we can use your help!

Meet Jenny Donnell

Tell Us About Yourself?

I am the parent of a young man with Autism. I enjoy spending time with my son and within the ASD community. We are both learning together through this journey – I learn in how to teach, help and support him, and he learns in the discovery of abilities. The gains are small, but the rewards are huge. In my work I am a Human Resources Professional. When not not focusing on Autism or HR, I like to go to walk, spend time with friends, and relax (…not!) at the cottage.

How Long Have You Been Volunteering with Autism Ontario York Chapter?

Between 10-19 years.  

Why Do You Volunteer with Us?

Because it can help others, and I can learn at the same time.

What’s Your Idea of Perfect Happiness?

A sunny day with a lake and a calm, happy son.

Who are Your Heroes in Real Life?

My mother. My friends. My family.

What’s Your Big Idea?  

Help guide the way to others in the various stages.

What do You Get from Volunteering?

New friends, new knowledge, new connections, new ideas.



Feeling inspired?  We’d love to have you!  Bring your passion and talents and let us put you to work.

Email york.communications@autismontario.com  – you’ll see why some of the most rewarding work is the stuff you don’t get paid to do.