SASKATOON – The annual celebration of young people creating positive change returned to SaskTel Centre Wednesday, as 15,000 students and teachers from Saskatchewan and across Canada took part in WE Day. The star-studded lineup of presenters included Cmdr. Chris Hadfield, Henry Winkler and Rick Hansen.
Hansen, often known as “The Man in Motion” for his worldwide wheelchair tour in the 1980s, spoke to students about breaking down physical and emotional barriers.
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“Things happen to us that we can’t control. Some are visible and others are not so visible. But it’s not what happens to us, but what we do with it that counts,” said Hansen.
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In order to attend WE Day, students had to do one charitable act in their community and another to support a community elsewhere in the world.
Jonah Toth, a Grade 12 student at Campbell Collegiate High School in Regina, helped his classmates raise more than $40,000 over three years for a Salvation Army initiative bringing gifts and food to families at Christmas.
“What we really try is to engage the students and create a meaningful impact, so that they know the donation they’re giving is truly changing the lives of those around the world,” Toth said.
Campbell Collegiate is now preparing for its third global fundraising initiative.
Grade 10 student Caprice Sherwood and her friend Kennedy Mielke coordinated the collection of about 1,300 pounds of food for a local food bank. The Unity Composite High School students also support Free The Children’s Adopt a Village program.
“I didn’t think we could do it, but we had lots of help from other people to keep us going,” Sherwood said.
Every year, 200,000 people participate in WE Day events in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom.
WATCH BELOW: WE Day Saskatchewan draws thousands of youth for inspiring message