We Day is over. We Act has just begun.
Life changing. That's a phrase we've heard again and again since over 1,200 Federal Way students and adults attended the We Day Seattle event on March 27, for a day filled with motivational speakers, local and national celebrities, and musical performances. And it was a day many of the attendees will never forget.
We Day takes place just one day out of a year. But the good work the event inspires will continue the other 364 days, through our students' involvement in We Act. Our community has already seen the benefits. Case in point: In a Halloween food drive dubbed We Scare Hunger, students collected over 10,000 pounds of food for the South King County Multi-Service Center food bank – the largest one-time donation ever for the organizations. And that's just one of the public service activities undertaken since students became involved in We Act.
It's not as easy to quantify in hard numbers all that the students have gained. The impact is clear though—from the student who approached We Day co-founder Craig Kielburger at an event early in October to say she had been planning to drop out of high school the next day, until his plea to get involved in public service made her want to stay—to the many other students who now realize that they can make a real difference.
What is We Day?
We Day programs are a high-energy mix of performances and short presentations. These events have already motivated nearly 2 million youth volunteers worldwide to contribute over 3.4 million volunteer hours, collect nearly 3 million pounds of food and raise more than $20 million for 500 causes including building schools and bringing clean water to communities in need. By the way, our students didn't just attend We Day Seattle. They were major participants in it »
Federal Way's road to We Day.
Working with Microsoft and the Seahawks organization, Free the Children reached out to Puget Sound-area school districts last summer. At the invitation of Superintendent Rob Neu, We Day founder Craig Kielburger made presentations at Decatur and Federal Way High School.
Not long after, the organization selected our district to help kick off the first-ever We Day event in the United States—We Day Seattle. That kick-off, complete with media, state education leaders and students from across the district, was held at Federal Way High School on October 2, 2012.
Did we mention, you can't buy a ticket to We Day?
We Day is free for students and teachers to attend, thanks in part to the generous support of Microsoft and other individuals and foundations. In return, students must earn their way by volunteering for one local and one global action to better the world. They do this through a year-long service learning program called We Act.
We Day was just the beginning.
We Act requires a year-round commitment from students, and provides support to keep them motivated. In addition to continuing to raise money for the village in Sierra Leone, students may soon have an even more personal option for doing global service: Me to We Road Trips. These trips, which involve traveling with adults to other countries to provide tutoring and build schools, are all about experiencing service on the global level. The impact on both the students and the people they serve is tremendous.
We Day Seattle: Kick-OffAn energetic crowd of around 2,000 students from secondary schools across the district gathered at Federal Way High School to help celebrate the U.S. launch of We Day on October 2