Members of the Middle School Free the Children club returned to campus on Thursday ready to make change. The 27 Grade 8 students (plus a group of Senior School students) were all in Vancouver to attend We Day, an inspirational event that teaches and encourages youth to make a difference in the world. The event features celebrity performances and guest speakers, including Col. Chris Hadfield, Marlee Matlin, Henry Winkler, Silken Laumann and 2015 SMUS grad Ann Makosinski.
“I had such a great time,” says Matias T. of attending We Day. “Just being there with thousands of other kids who all want to help out was so inspirational.”
The Free the Children club at SMUS is filled with young leaders who do their part in making the local and global community a better place – and leaving We Day they say they’re more inspired than ever to make change.
“The club raises awareness of people here and in third world countries who have less than us. It really makes you realize how lucky we are,” Matias says. “This club is a great way for us to share.”
Earlier this month, the Middle School Free the Children club filled 47 backpacks with food, clothing, toiletries and more and donated them to the Our Place Society during Homelessness Action Week.
“Having the chance to do that and knowing you’ve changed someone’s life for a day or a week by doing something so small, just giving them a backpack full of things that we sometimes take for granted, it makes me feel really proud,” says Meaghan P.
The students say this year’s We Day touched on a natural progression of four different topics for making change: Find what you want to be; Your dream; Ask for Help; and Share with the Community.
Both Meaghan and Matias (along with the other We Day attendees) are now inspired to put those ideas into practice back within the school community.
“We just want to get more people involved in Free the Children at the school. I hope we can create new initiatives and keep those going at the school,” Meaghan says. “Sitting there (at We Day), it was so inspirational and I was so inspired to just go out in the community and help others. When I heard all the speeches it made me think of everything that’s going on in the world and it made me look at the bigger picture of the world, and I want to get out there and do something.”