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We Day

We Day is sweeping the hearts and minds of our nation’s youth. The event first hit Toronto on September 30th, then Vancouver on October 15th, leaving thousands of inspired pre-teens in its path.

Next stop is Montreal on November 12th, where thousands more young people will be spurred to act and inspired to change the world.

We were thrilled to learn about We Day for its youth-driven parallels to Jane Goodall’s Roots and Shoots campaign.

The annual event is hosted by Free the Children, a non-profit that utilizes the power and enthusiasm of youth to assist other youth through education and fundraising.

We Day calls upon renowned social activists, leaders, and performers to inspire hope in children and inspire passion to make a difference in the world. This year’s guests included Ben Mulroney, Olympian Alexandre Bilodeau, Deepak Chopra, and our own GreenHero, Wangari Maathai.

We admit that we’d have loved to attend an event like this when we were young, one where youth are not considered powerless to change; instead they are reminded that they are the greatest change makers. How fitting that Free the Children was founded back in 1995 by a 12-year-old Craig Keilberger. What started as an issue of international development has since expanded to a movement for local and global change on an assortment of issues, including the environment.

Photo Credit: Miss604 via Flickr

While politicians spend millions of dollars mulling about at meetings, these kids are spurred to immediate action, building schools, developing communities, and undertaking innovative global projects. They’ve already implemented 30 clean water projects that provide access to clean water for 60,000 people. In the three years of We Day’s existence, the youth have raised over $1.5 million for local causes, and over $3 million for global causes.

Beyond its immediate impacts, we learned that We Day has a year-long commitment requirement for those schools lucky enough to attend the day-long event. We Schools in Action program lends students the practical tools to convert their newfound inspiration into measurable action, for long after the day has ended.

So what’s their goal for the next year, and what you can do to help them? It literally takes the click of a mouse – their donors will donate $1 for every ‘like’ We Day gets on Facebook. Their goal is to reach 1 million by the end of the year, but we think they’ve set the bar too low. It hasn’t been a month yet, and they’ve already hit 250,000 likes!

Tune in for a recap of the 2010 We Day Toronto event on CTV, on October 30 at 7 pm.

Remember – in the battle to save the planet, youth can sprout change: Share stories of young people you know creating positive change, by entering  our contest, and you’ll be eligible to win a prize, including being featured on TV as our next GreenHero! Contest details and more information can be found here.

GreenHeroes.tv is all about saving the planet, one story at a time. Do you have a great story to tell about how you’re helping to make the world a greener place? Enter the contest to nominate a friend or yourself – you could be one of Canada’s next GreenHeroes!

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