Michelle's independent resources for ESL Students at Vancouver Community College

This is a Canadian ESL blog for Intermediate and Advanced Students who want to learn and improve their English. Each PAGE above contains thousands of free English lessons, tutorials and practice exercises to help you learn and improve your English grammar, reading, listening, pronunciation, speaking, writing and editing. Some of the resources are Canadian. Others are from around the world.

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Sunday, June 10, 2012

Hope: With A Little Help From Our Friends

Today I am posting, the first of what will become a regular feature called Video Feature of the month. I hope you enjoy it.    

Have any of you ever participated in a fund raising  project or donated  money to a charity  such as the Canadian Cancer Society, or an organization like  the Red Cross, which helps victims of disasters, famines and wars all around the around the world?

The word fund raising is important in English because it is such a part of the culture in North America. Even children as young as five years old begin fund raising for their schools when they go out selling chocolate bars, or plants in order to raise money for a special sports program, another computer, or a special trip to another city.

It is easy to see the results of our fund raising when it is for something immediate like a school project, or a sports team. Unfortunately, we often don't see the results, or even receive thanks for a lot of the money we give to charitable organizations. All we can hope is that the money is spent wisely on what is important, and not squandered  or stolen by corrupt officials.

The following video is a wonderful example of how assistance and hope can be provided through effective  fund raising by members of the public, help from organizations such as The Red Cross, Doctors without Borders, governments and volunteers from around the world.

Japanese Earthquake 

On March 11, 2011 Miyagi Prefecture in Japan suffered a terrible earthquake and tsunami, which is now commonly referred to as 3.11, just as the attack on the World Trade Centre is simply called 911).

This video is a special thank you from the people of the Tohoku area who suffered such terrible losses  during that earthquake and tsunami, but who are rebuilding their lives with hope and courage. It is their way of telling us how much they appreciated the fact that we cared enough about them to send money to help them recover from a disaster none of us would ever like to face in our own lives.

To find out more or to donate 
If you want to read more about the Japanese relief program, or donate money to help, go to the following website to see all the different options for your donations go to the Huffington Post: How to Help Japan Earthquake Relief .

Send this to your Friends

If this video helped you remember how important it is to have "hope" in our lives, or made you feel something, send it to all your friends so that they can appreciate it too. 

What's Your Opinion ?  

Here is a short opinion question for you to practice your English writing: 

Do you think it is important for individuals to help others who are in a much worse situation than they are, or should this only be the responsibility of governments?  Explain your reasons.  Write your answers in the comment box below.

Thank You, I really appreciate your comments. 



  1. I personally think that we as indivuduals need to help people who are in much worse situations.The first reason is that helping people who are in critical conditions improves personal happiness.It doesn't matter how much money we spend for needy. Acording to a cretain research,people who spend money for others feel much happier than the people who spend money only for themselves.Another reason is that we as individuals need to take the responsibilities for the people in critical situations because we can not say that their misfortune is not related to our lives in direct or indirect ways.If one part of our globe is in economic fragile situations ,other part of the globe can be under domino effect.

  2. Soo Won,
    Thank you for your comment. It is very well thought out and you use some very strong arguments for being generous. I couldn't agree with you more. We in Canada, the U.S. and so many other countries have no idea how good we've got it. We constantly complain about small things, but how would we handle major disasters such as a Tsunami, or an earthquake etc? The U.S. felt its pain with 911 and with Hurricane Katrina, but how about Africa and other countries where war, famine and starvation are the order of the day. We can afford to be generous. As you so rightly said, it will increase our personal happiness.


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