Last week, I had the pleasure of attending WE Day in Montreal. I have been lucky enough to go to the Montreal event five times, and each time I think, “well, I’ve seen it all, it won’t impact me as much this time around”.
I am always wrong and newly inspired.
My twins were finally old enough to attend WE Day and so this time, I brought them. If you remember, just before Christmas, one of my twins decided to put on a charity event of his own to raise money for education. Soon after, my other twin and oldest son were pitching in, and then we had a community-filed event with support and inspiration. This all came about because of the WE Kit that was sent to me from TELUS. To read all about this amazing kit and what we did as a family to make my son’s first charity event take place, you can read all about it here.
Thanks to the helpful support of my friend, Jennifer Harris of West Island Creative Arts Center, my son managed to raise over $500 for children’s education. I needed to thank her, and I knew just how. TELUS came through, inviting her and her daughter (who also helped) to the event. I told Jennifer to bring tissues and know that her life would be changed.
I picked her up and we set out to have a day of life-changing inspiration. What she didn’t know, was that we would have the chance to speak with Craig backstage. I made sure to let Craig know just what kind of awesome person she is and how her generosity made my son’s dream possible.
I did record the chat but that was strictly for us as a family, since I don’t post my sons’ faces online. What I can tell you is that Craig was so gracious and grateful to US. Imagine that?! Yes, he made my son feel that his amount raised will make big changes to people in other areas in the world. He gave my twins’ high fives and congratulated them for their efforts in putting together an event from start to finish with the help of our community.
I took the opportunity to ask Craig what was on my mind ever since he became a papa. Here is what he had to say:
I am so very happy to hear Craig, who has managed to create an empire-sized charity organization, thanking my children for their efforts. As he says, in the end, our “why” is based on our children and the children of the world. It may sound corny, but I cannot tell you the magnitude of positivity, and strength in a concert hall filled with young world-changers. Time and time again, children are showing up and showing adults what it means to give back, make a difference and stay positive. What’s amazing and so very important to acknowledge is all the efforts, big and small, and this event does that in spades.
The #EndBullying Conversation
Within the event, there is always an underlining theme that is addressed and for years now, the theme has been bullying. Guest speakers have talked about how they were bullied and how they managed to rise above. The speakers encourage the audience to speak up, ignore the hate and stand up for their passions and uniqueness. This year, TELUS is raising awareness of cyberbullying. They gave us t-shirts and buttons they which displays their #EndBullying symbol, a creative image of colourful hands that together make a hashtag symbol (and I can tell you, my boys have worn it every day after school so far).
If you have read my post on online safety, you know how important this is to me. It is estimated that one million kids will be cyberbullied this month (yes, you are reading right, this month).
So how can you inspire 2000 children to take cyberbullying and their digital footprint seriously? You have people like Nalie Agustin take the stage, a young influencer that has used her stage-four cancer to catapult her message, filled with amazing insights, wellness suggestions and positivity.
WE Day also had Chloe Pronovost-Morgan and Julia Coste speak about their initiative, Monthly Dignity. Here is their story:
There were SO many other incredible moments from the day, but I will leave you with this. Canadian singer, Ria Mae, took the stage more than once, and ended the day with her hit song, Bend. I adore this song!
Here are some of the lyrics:
You can try and bend my heart but it won’t break
You can change my clothes, you can change my name
Break, break, break out of these chains
I can bend, bend, bend so far but I won’t break
I encourage you all to check out more by visiting WE.org. There is a wealth of information there for you as a parent, and for your child and their school.
As a parenting blogger, I can tell you, my heart swelled with gratitude and happiness as I got to attend the event with my twins for the first time. TELUS’ WE Day sponsorship allows tens of thousands of students across Canada to attend WE Day for free, helping to create an engaged community of young people all year-around. What many don’t know is that students cannot buy a ticket to WE Day, they earn their way by doing at least one act of good in their community and one act of good globally. So, as you can imagine, the concert hall is filled with youth that are well aware of what an impact their work in the community can create. They are supported in their goal to be agents of change by programs like WE Schools, WE Day App 2.0, and the WE Global Learning Centre, To date, TELUS has given over $20M to WE since 2007. I couldn’t be happier to continue working with a company that believes in investing in the well-being of young people.
As the national co-title partner of WE Day, TELUS is inspiring young leaders and supporting positive social change. TELUS and WE have a shared vision: together, they want to help engage and empower youth to harness their innovative ideas, make positive change and become community leaders, both locally and globally. I’m so proud to be a #TELUS_partner.
To learn more about how you can help your kids become positive leaders in our online world, visit the TELUS Wise website. Also, I invite you to take the TELUS Wise digital pledge to use technology for good, and to do so as a family. It’s a great way to start a conversation with your kids on cyberbullying and online safety!
Disclosure: I am a #TELUS_partner this post has been sponsored by TELUS. As always, all opinions are honest and my own.