I knew that the inspirational stories I was about to hear would blow me away. I knew they’d hit an emotional chord with me, but I didn’t know just how much of an impact WeDay was going to have on me and the thousands of others at the Air Canada Centre on September 2oth.
On the 19th, I was able to get the behind-the-scenes look at how the event was going to run, as well as have the chance to speak with some of the speakers and listen to Craig Kielburger talk about the WeDay & Free the Children initiative.
WeDay season has just begun and it will welcome hundreds of thousands of students and supporters in 12 We Day locations in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom. The entire WeDay event was memorable. The most poignant for me were speeches from:
- Martin Luther King III, keeping his father’s dream alive
- Hannah Alper, 10 year old youth speaker who shows us that you’re never too young to make a change
- Spencer West, inspiring us with his determination
- Molly Burke, sharing her story of being bullied and demonstrating resilience (Molly’s story had me in tears! Boy, did I ever cry!)
- Col. Chris Hadfield’s story of shooting further than the stars and not giving up on one’s dreams made me smile. He really illustrated how connected we really are when he spoke of looking at the Earth from space and how man-made boundaries could be seen from space. In the grand scheme of things, we really are all connected. I still cannot get over the fact that we met someone who was in space! How amazing is that?!
Incredible performances by:
- The beautiful voices of the Kenyan Boys Choir
- Demi Lovato – an unforgettable performance. So moving.
- Imagine Dragons
- Barenaked Ladies
- and many more
Not only was I blown away by the stories of challenges, obstacles, determination and triumphs, but also by the incredible everyday heroes — Canadian youth. There were countless stories of young Canadians who have stood by their causes and have made a difference by taking action. I was moved to tears to see how so many of our youth have initiated change.
Of course, as Craig Kielburger said, WeDay is not just a one day event. Let’s make WeDay part of our every day. Here are a few ways you can “Be the Change” and take action. If you’re a student, you can volunteer, start a group, fundraise, or attend Take Action Camp.
I am excited for take part with MY family. Families can participate by: Fundraising for AAV (Adopt A Village) joining a campaign, volunteering overseas, shopping sustainably, bringing We Act to school, and collecting rafikis. One of the things I would absolutely love to do (maybe when Little One is a bit older, since she’s only turning 5 in November) is volunteering overseas as a family. It’s definitely a goal of mine and something I want to do with my daughter.
I have the ABC Education Rafiki Friend Chain. This gorgeous chain provides the ABCs of education. Each unique, handmade chain (made by a Maasai mama) is $10. Each rafiki chain sold equips a child for school for one year and empowers a Maasai mama who earns a fair wage to send her children to school. Check out all the other Rafiki Friend Chains here.
We also learned more about We365 at WeDay. We365 is a digital community that helps you make positive change in our world, every day of the year. It’s an online space to connect with others and share causes you care about, while creating a portfolio of your social impact. What a great app for students! Students will have a place online for keeping track of volunteer hours, tracking dollars earned for fundraising initiatives, groups, communities, and so much more!For more info on We365 or to sign up, visit the website: http://www.we365.com/about/
A BIG Thank You to TELUS for giving me the opportunity to be part of this amazing event and to be included in something so big. What a truly memorable experience.
Disclosure: I attended the WeDay event sponsored by TELUS (and RBC). All thoughts and opinions expressed on this blog are honest and my own.