Since Barack Obama's election to the presidency in 2008, politicians and other public figures have encouraged Americans of all stripes to give their time and volunteer, most notably through the White House's United We Serve campaign which kicked off this summer.
Lest Americans think that they're the only ones encouraging an increase in giving, Canada has celebrated International Volunteer Day on December 5 since 1985. On this day, Canada urges its citizens to give not just money, but their time and effort to help others. They've even established their own social consciousness network at GetInvolved.ca.
For this year, GetInvolved.ca is initiating Power of the Hour, a campaign aimed at inspiring Canadians to volunteer over two million hours in 2010.
If you're living in Canada and want to get started, click "Take This Challenge" on GetInvolved.ca's Act page and find volunteer opportunities.
The site also includes stories with ordinary Canadians working to make a difference.