The reason RAPS is able to make small miracles on small budgets is because of a small army of volunteers who have always been the backbone of this organization.
This summer, we were very fortunate to have a quintet of extraordinary volunteers from halfway around the world helping us advance the mission of RAPS.
Irene, a young woman from Italy, worked at the RAPS Thrift Store, providing excellent customer service and tons of assistance for the managers! She came to us through the organization Red Leaf, which provides young people with opportunities to immerse themselves in Canadian school and family life while participating in programs designed to suit the needs and likes of each student.
Also on our team over the summer were four young people from Japan: Masa, Tomo, Mao and Haruka. They volunteered five days a week at the RAPS Cat Sanctuary doing the whole range of unheralded but necessary work that keeps the Sanctuary functioning smoothly. They scooped litter, cleaned cages and communal cat areas, helped with laundry and dishes and more. Masa and Tomo also helped at the RAPS Thrift Stores as well as at events like the RAPS Thrift Store Grand Opening and at Petapalooza. They came to us via Canada Journal/Japan Advertising Ltd., which, like Red Leaf, offers a homestay-volunteer program where participants are immersed in Canadian culture and the English language.
Having these folks from other countries was a joy for the RAPS team! They did not only help us with the animals and advance the cause of saving and improving the lives of animals. They also shared their cultures with us and, we hope, carried home with them happy memories and a little of the RAPS philosophy that where an animal lives should not determine whether an animal lives!