Ways Thanks to the folks at TELUS I had the chance to attend this year’s WeDay event in Toronto. I love that TELUS is a sponsor, just one of many ways the company invests in the community around them. Not surprising, the WeDay event was inspiring but they also shared some ways our kids can maintain their momentum.
Read. Read. Read. Books can be a great way to explore subjects you love, explore a time or place in the world you have never been or escape into your imagination. Books are also a great way to open your mind to diverse characters. Some great lists to start with include the Children’s Book Council Diverse Kids’ and YA Literature list, School Library Journal’s recommendation of YA literature containing disabled characters, and Book Riot’s 30 Diverse YA titles to Get On Your Radar. These are just a few ideas but the point is to expand your mind by reading books with characters and scenarios you may not find relatable.
Start Small. Although the presentations at WeDay tend to focus on the big impact initiatives like large fundraising actions to support building schools or supply water to a whole village, but they do may an effort to highlight smaller initiatives too. You can make a difference even if it’s just a small step. Start a homework helper club or a welcoming committee with peers for new students. Encourage greener initiatives in the classroom. Pick-up a piece of litter and toss it in the trash. These actions may seem small but if everyone showed a little kindness or helped with recycling projects, imagine the huge impact.
Recycle a Battery, Save 6 Lives. You’ve heard about the environmental benefit to recycling batteries but did you know these same batteries can save a life, actually six lives. I’m talking about the zinc found in batteries. Thanks to a the initiative Zinc Saves Lives, the amount of zinc found in one AA battery can benefit six children suffering from zinc deficiency. Simply collect your used batteries, perhaps even through a school initiative, and drop them off at your nearest Call2Recycle location and the value of the zinc each batteries contains will be donated to UNICEF (for zinc tablets).
Pay Attention to the News. It may not be as exciting as the book you’re reading or the latest blockbuster in the movie theatres, but the news keeps us connected to things happening in our backyard and around the world. You’ll read inspiring stores about how young people are creating new ideas to benefit the world as well as the struggles some children face in the form of child labour. Reading these stories may inspire you to follow a dream to create a new device, speak up for those who can’t or make more informed choices when it comes to things you consume.
Connect With Others. The one big benefit to attending WeDay is the feeling you get from being with likeminded individuals. That positive energy can put you on a high with the optimism to handle anything in your path. You can still keep that energy going by connecting with others using the We365 app made possible through Free The Children’s partner, TELUS. Participate in challenges set-up by others or start your own. Feel encouraged to take the next step knowing there’s a whole group of peers right behind you.
Join New Groups. We all have our groups of friends, those likeminded people that get our jokes. It’s great to have these friends but are you missing something? Go outside your comfort zone and join groups or classes you wouldn’t normally consider. These experiences expose you to different people and the more opportunities you have interacting with others, the more likely you’ll relate to and respect different groups. It’s hard to stand-up or speak-up for people we may not understand. Break that barrier by expanding your experiences with the world.
Call for Change. Fancesco Yates created a remix of his hit song “Call” to become the anthem for the young movement generation. Simply watching and sharing the video below, TELUS will give $10 to Free the Children (maximum $48,850 from Sept 8 to Dec 18, 2015). Could there be a simpler way to support an organization that is working to give youth a voice?
So whether your child was fortunate enough to attend WeDay in your city or not, you can build on the movement by making a difference in at school, your community, and ultimately the world. The world may not be perfect as it stands now and as a parent I do sometimes worry about what my children face as they get older but we can change that future. The future belongs to our children so why not encourage them to help determine how it is shaped.
As a TELUS advocate and member of Team TELUS I was invited to attend WeDay. As always the thoughts and opinions are my own.