How Can I Help?

Clothing Donations

Our community clothing closet is always in need of new items. Casual wear such as T-shirts, sweaters, and jeans are always in high demand, as are shoes, boots, and work boots. We don’t have as much need for formal wear such as suits. Our clients do use our clothing for work and job interviews, but the type of work they do seldom calls for dress clothes.

If you have clothing that you would like to donate to our clothes closet, please give us a call and ask to speak to our reintegration department. They can arrange a time for you to drop off your clothing.

The John Howard Society of Manitoba is a resource that I will always think very highly of and will recommend to anyone in need of that type of support.

Second year social work practicum student, University of Manitoba

Book Donations

Our literacy program partners with the Winnipeg Public Library to make good quality books available to all inmates in the Winnipeg Remand Centre. We are always in need of new titles, especially popular fiction, and nonfiction such as biographies.

Softcover books

We gratefully accept donations of softcover books in good condition. We especially look for:

  • Popular authors such as Stephen King and John Grisham
  • Young adult novels or other books at a basic literacy level
  • Biographies, histories and other nonfiction
  • Books on Aboriginal culture and history
  • Books on criminal justice, prison and politics
  • Popular series like Twilight, Harry Potter, and Hunger Games
Graphic novels

We welcome the donation of graphic novels


We prefer not to receive romances, westerns, cookbooks, or anything overly academic. Hardcovers are not permitted in the Remand Centre for security reasons, but we do have a small amount of space for them in our community library.

Money Donations

Monetary support helps us to keep our existing programs running and occasionally allows us to spearhead new initiatives, such as our Fresh Start Kits and our Get the Story Out children’s storybook recording program.

We are very appreciative of contributions from the community and will provide tax receipts for amounts over $10. You can donate using our Donate page which allows you to contribute to us directly via the site or gives instructions for writing a cheque. Once your donation is completed you will get an email confirmation and tax receipt.

Volunteer Tutor Program

Our literacy program uses volunteer tutors for a number of purposes, such as working one-to-one with literacy learners at our office and assisting with group sessions at the Winnipeg Remand Centre. Comprehensive orientation is provided, as well as ongoing training workshops through the year, but we do prefer that volunteers have some prior tutoring or teaching experience.

The commitment to tutoring requires about 2-3 hours per week. Tutors must sign on to a declaration of principles that outlines the goals and philosophy of the literacy program.

Principles for Literacy Tutors

We are looking for people who:

• Love reading and writing and want to help foster a love for reading and writing in others.

• Have strong literacy, numeracy and communication skills themselves.

• Are interested in developing positive, supportive relationships of solidarity and mutual respect with criminalized people.

• Can commit at least six months to the program.

• Can agree to abide by strict guidelines concerning client confidentiality.

• Can agree to abide by our Tutor Declaration of Principles

• For tutors hoping to work in the Remand Centre, can pass a screening by Manitoba Corrections to receive clearance to enter a correctional institution. (A criminal record will not necessarily disqualify you; it all depends what that record is and how long ago it was. Individuals with outstanding criminal charges are not eligible for clearance.)

Approximately 10-12 volunteers work in the John Howard Society’s literacy program. We take new volunteers two or three times per year. If you are interested in volunteering, you can contact us at 204.775.1514.

Social Work Practicums

The John Howard Society of Manitoba serves as a host agency for practicum students doing degrees in social work and other related programs. We have hosted students from the University of Manitoba, Universite de Saint-Boniface, Red River College and Booth University College.

Being a practicum student at the John Howard Society of Manitoba has easily been one of the most enriching experiences of my life.

Second year social work practicum student, University of Manitoba

Typically students spend between two and four days per week with us for one academic year, depending on their year of study. Our students have told us they get a lot out of this practicum because there are many opportunities for them to work directly with clients and to familiarize themselves with community resources.

If you are considering a placement with JHSM or would like to recommend it to someone, get in touch with Sharon Perrault through the main office, .

Incarcerated men are a population that not everyone thinks are in need of support. However, working in the reintegration department and alongside other JHS departments and partner organizations such as Ogijiita Pimatiswin Kinamatwin, it has become even more evident to me that this work is very important to supporting our community and developing our society.

Second year social work practicum student, University of Manitoba