Tuesday, September 29, 2009

"We Day" 2009

Today marked the third annual 'We Day'. It is the largest youth empowerment event of its kind, and it was held today in Vancouver, and will be held again in Toronto on October 5th. How does this connect to us? In many, many ways.....

'We Day' is a Free the Children initiative. Free the Children is a non profit that started in Canada in 1995. A young boy, by the name of Craig Kielburger, started this organization at the age of 12. At the age of TWELVE he got together 11 school friends to start fighting against child labour. What started in 1995 as what seemed like a relatively small movement, has now turned into something that has touched youth worldwide. Free the Children program's are across Canada, empowering youth with knowledge, strength and momentum to know that they can change the world. Along with Free Children, is an initiative called 'Me to We'. Me to We is a clothing line, which we are now selling in our stores. The line directly funds the Free the Children program. 50% of the profits from Me to We sales goes directly to Free the Children. The rest of the profits go back into the growing the clothing line.

This is why we decided to start carrying the Me to We line, as it fully matched our ethics and values. The clothing items are all made in Canada and are all made out of eco-friendly fabrics. However, I don't think we quite realized the impact the clothing line would have until a few months ago. You see, Me to We is more than just clothing...its about relationships, stories and a movement that is changing youth across Canada. Stories from customers who have met Craig Kielburger. Stories from customers whose kids or grand kids have fundraised for Free the Children and have had their lives enriched from the organization. Or, stories from customers who have attended these annual 'We Day' events. The stories have brought people together to talk about real issues, that go beyond just buying a shirt in a local store. The stories have created relationships between customers and our staff, and have most importantly awakened our awareness for what more we could be doing. It is reasons like this that I believe my family does what is does with these smalls businesses here in Victoria and Tofino. There is a movement happening. A movement towards fairly traded products and environmentally friendlier choices being made. We are so proud to be a part of that.

So, with that said.....I hope my mum, a school teacher here in Victoria had an empowering time with her children from school at the We Day celebration today. I also hope her friend, a school teacher in Vancouver had a day to remember as the Dalai Lama spoke at We Day. And, I hope my uncle, the founder of this business I work for, had an enlightening day as he sat in GM place and realized what we are contributing to, and how we can do even more in years to come.

Want to learn more? Click here.

May you all have a 'Me to We' kind of year ahead :)

- Megan

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