Volunteers needed for innovative poverty simulation



Living on the Edge: Taking a Look at PovertyAre you looking for a unique experience that allows you to learn more about important issues in Winnipeg? We are currently seeking volunteers for the “Living on the Edge: Taking a Look at Poverty” simulation.

Requiring just up to 3 hours per month, this opportunity is designed for individuals and groups who want to make a difference in our community – but who don’t have a lot of time. Even if you feel that you don’t know a lot about the issues that people face, you can play an important role in the Living on the Edge poverty simulation.

What is “Living on the Edge: Taking a Look at Poverty”?

Living on the Edge: Taking a Look at Poverty is a unique experience designed to provide a glimpse into what it might be like to live in a low-income family trying to survive from month to month. Participants are placed in family units, each with a story that describes their financial situation. The simulation is divided into four short “weeks”, simulating a month in total. Each week the family needs to perform day-to-day tasks, including sending their children to school (or childcare), getting to or finding work, paying bills, visiting social services or other community agencies, buying groceries, cashing their cheque at the bank and more. Following the simulation, participants debrief the experience and learn more about the role United Way Winnipeg is playing in addressing poverty.

What is the role of “Living on the Edge” Simulation Volunteers?

Volunteers are integral to the poverty simulation experience. As the participants go through the month, they are instructed to visit and utilize a number of community services and resources, such as the bank, the grocery store, the social service office, etc. We are currently recruiting volunteers to serve as the staffers of these different community services/resource offices. Volunteers act in these different roles and guide participants throughout the experience of the poverty simulation.

Volunteer requirements:

  • Available 1 – 2 times a month for 3 hours during the week during daytime hours
  • No preparation, previous knowledge or other experience needed

This is a great opportunity to help educate others on the realities of someone living in poverty while you develop and enhance your own interpersonal, leadership and communication skills.

For more information, contact United Way of Winnipeg by calling 204-477-5360, or email lote@unitedwaywinnipeg.mb.ca.


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  • Annie Luo

    Hi, I am Annie Luo, a grade 11 student from Balmoral Hall School in Winnipeg. I sent an email to your organization two weeks before but I have not get any reply. Hope that email find you well. I am interested in volunteering in your program “Living on the edge: Taking a look at poverty”. How should I get involve in that? I would love to start as soon as possible! As well, I am currently working on a project called “Help the Homeless”. My goal is to provide temporary solutions for the homeless to stay away from hunger, poverty and other desperate situations and help them to find new homes. Also, raise the public awareness of caring the homeless people and give them respect and dignity to live better lives in today’s society. I have been looking at your website and finding it inspirational for my project. I am really passionate about helping them and I would like to know what the biggest urgent need in your organization is and what could I help to make changes in our community? I really want to start the “Day of Caring” activity in my school as well, How should I start to work on it? I would love to come visit your organization very soon and talk about it more! Thank you for taking time to read this email and hope to hear from you soon!

    • Erica

      Hi Annie – we’ll email you contact details for the volunteer opportunities you’re interested in. Thanks for contacting us!