International News Desk – At Home: Helping Your Neighbour – Around the World: Rebound

International News Desk – At Home: Helping Your Neighbour – Around the World: Rebound

At Home: Helping Your Neighbour

Among all the bad news out there, here’s one gem that surfaced last week: Canadians care about one another. At least That’s what a recent report seems to indicate.

As The Toronto Star reports, ?47 per cent of Canadians over the age of 15? volunteered in 2010.

The numbers, provided by Statistics Canada in time for National Volunteer Week (April 15-22), showed that the more than 13 million Canadian volunteers ?devoted almost 2.1 billion hours of their time,? the ?equivalent of almost 1.1 million full-time jobs.?

Some volunteers showed particular dedication; just ten per cent were responsible for 53 per cent of the hours given. According to Statistics Canada, these amazing people ?dedicated a minimum of 390 hours to their volunteer work over the course of a year, or the equivalent of almost 10 weeks in a full-time job.? Another 15 per cent donated the equivalent of ?between four and almost 10 full-time weeks of unpaid work.?

The volunteering spirit was recognized by Prime Minister Stephen Harper in an official statement that compared volunteers to the ?lifeblood of charitable organizations.?

Even the smallest contribution of time or effort can make a huge difference in the lives of others.

Around the World: Rebound

If you let something go it will come back to you, the old saying goes. But what about if It’s taken from you unwillingly? Stranger things may have happened, but It’s hard to beat the story of a ball that was swept away by the 2011 tsunami in Japan.

As The Toronto Star reports, a Japanese teen’s soccer ball is his one personal possession that survived when his house was washed out to sea.

The ball, which bears its owners name and had been a gift from his classmates, was recently discovered by a beachcomber in Alaska. It was half-buried in sand on an Alaskan island about ?110 kilometres south of the . . . mainland.?

The ball’s owner is ?surprised and thankful,? telling reporters, ?I’ve lost everything in the tsunami. So I’m delighted.?

It is ?one of the first pieces of debris from last year’s tsunami to wash up on the other side of the Pacific.?