When I was introduced the WE Families kit months ago, I wasn’t sure what would become of it. This is the reason that Craig and Marc Kielburger are so successful in their ME movement. They have studied the world and children and seen just how easy it is for them to become involved in making a change.
Here’s the story of how this little kit is making a big change in our little family and beyond.
With Christmas coming, I knew that pulling out the WE Families kit would be a great thing with the boys, to show them a different look on gift giving. The concept is not foreign to them, they have seen me work with WE.org as a blogger and a TELUS ambassador (TELUS is a major sponsor to WE Day and the company encourages giving back to your community). And with my own charity event, Shopping From The Heart, my boys have organically decided to take part in giving back at the event with their own table of baked good and art pieces.
So, showing them the kit, they recognized the Rafiki bracelets (“I want one!” they said). But that was not how that was going to work, not this time. Instead, we sat down on the floor and spread out all the items that were in the kit. The World Need Your Family activity book was the first tool we began to read, then we read the first of the set of 12 discussion cards to connect with the book.
I encouraged them to get a pencil and write down their thoughts and answers in the notebook provided in the kit. One of my boys was eager to get started, while the other two were not as interested…yet. These were the questions on the first discussion card:
1.What issues or causes are important to us a family and why? He thought about it and said education for children was important to him.
Education because every one needs to learn. – Little MOE
2.What are our own individual gifts and talents? Art! He didn’t have to think too long on this one, he is so creative and artistic.
3.How can we match our talents to the issues we care about? Make a plan. This was more complicated to him. His first thought was “I’ll make art and sell it”. We talked about it more and came to the idea that maybe talking to his art teacher would spark some ideas.
And this is what he put together the very next day.
Not only did he write this out, but he asked a friend of his to spell check it since spelling is not his forte. He delivered it with me to his art teacher at her home.
The next day, she sent it back and we set up a “meeting” to get things rolling.
Now, you have to understand, this was all happening when Jennifer, the art teacher at The West island Creative Arts Center, was wrapping up holiday classes and prepping to shut down the studio for the holidays. But that didn’t stop her from giving him one of her last days to host a paint night. She explained how it works and he wrote all the details down in his WE notebook, so he could get organized.
Next, we made a letter to deliver to his friends and their parents, as well as to teachers at school. He gave out the letter while I created an event on Facebook.
This weekend is the event. He is a nervous wreck! Poor sweetie, it takes a toll when you are planning something for others. He has about a dozen people registered so far, so in my mind that is already a success.
We’ve stayed up late making holiday bookmarks, DIY ornament kits, and a friend of Jennifer’s who is a baker has graciously donated her talent free of charge to make a sweet table of goodies for him to sell as well. It’s pretty darn amazing when people work together for a greater good, huh?
Oh, and did I mention? My son…is only nine years old. Yep, he’s decided, and rightly so, that it doesn’t matter how young or old you are to make a difference. That is completely thanks to the WE movement and their message to youth. Craig and Marc have created a movement with tangible, easy steps any child can take and see how one small act of charity can have a ripple effect.
And my two other children? Remember how I mentioned they were interested at the start? Well, with everything they saw their brother doing with me and Jennifer, they began to think of their own ideas. Both are talented in music. So in the past weeks, they have been “recording” a music album, complete with a album cover, with Papa MOE. Oh yes, this is a real family affair. Albums will be released for sale at the Paint Night.
If you are looking for a fantastic resource for your family to start thinking differently about giving back, I encourage you to purchase your own WE Families kit. It will be the best $25 you can spend on your family for the holidays, and well beyond.
Thanks to all the families that came to paint, those that came just to pick up a sweet treat or DIY ornament, and all the wonderful people that shared out the event. And a BIG thank you to Jennifer of West Island Creative Arts Center for helping my son fulfill his dream. Everyone’s support made this possible! My little MOE had a very successful event and raised $525.20 for children education!! We are going to place the donation in his name to WE and it will give to 10 children for their primary education!