WE Day


The Manitoba Home Builders' Association is celebrating 75 years.

Issue link: http://publications.winnipegfreepress.com/i/1042127

Contents of this Issue


Page 0 of 11

View online at winnipegfreepress.com/publications Thursday, October 25, 2018 Winnipeg Free Press Special Feature Don't miss some next-level doing good. On October 30, 2018, watch WE Day Manitoba at WE.org/watchweday or on Facebook Live. @WEmovement WE makes doing good, doable. By Chinelo Onwualu Last spring, Krista Wasney, a teacher at Bird's Hill School in East St. Paul, MB, was looking for a new way to get her kids excited about fundraising. Krista had been running her school's Support People in Need (SPIN) social action club for grade 5 students for six years. Each year, between 20 and 30 kids would arrive in her class eager to join the club and take action for causes they cared about, such as anti-bullying, homelessness, the environment and poverty. It was a point of pride for Krista to make sure that each campaign was different from the year before. For the WE Walk for Water campaign in June, to raise awareness for those who must travel long distances to collect water, she took the students in the group to the water-filled gravel pits about a kilometre from their school. ere, in smouldering 30-degree heat, they each filled up a four-litre milk jug with water from the pit and carried it back to the school. "What's nice about it is the kids— even the younger kids—know about SPIN club because of the campaigns we run," says Krista. "So, by the time they get to grade 5, they're interested in joining the club." e challenge When the WE Create Change campaign, where students collect spare change to raise funds to buy goats and support economic opportunity programs in WE Villages partner communities, came around in May, Krista wanted to inspire the students by doing something fun. So, she decided to hold an event she'd first held three years ago: the "kiss-a-goat challenge." Members of the school staff would volunteer to kiss a baby goat during a school assembly and students and their families could vote for who they'd most like to see do it. In 2015, eight staff members agreed to take part. Krista paid a local farm to bring in a baby goat and the challenge was a hit, raising over $300. is year, 20 staff members signed up right away. Krista took photos of each of them in a photo booth, holding up a pair of giant kissy lips. She then put the pictures on a bulletin board so that students all over the school could see who was running. Each vote cost $2 and students and their families could vote as many times as they liked. To drum up support for the campaign, the club sent ballots home with students, made announcements through the school's PA system and had intense discussions with their classmates over who to vote for. "It added some fun to it," says Krista. "Rather than just putting a loonie in a box, it added that 'wow' factor." e hardest part was finding the goat. e farm she'd worked with three years ago wasn't available this year. Krista contacted eight farms across East St. Paul to track down one that would be willing to bring a baby goat to the school. She finally got Tara McKean at 10 Acre Woods Farm to agree to bring her six-week-old baby goat named Sheldon. Sheldon was born with developmental challenges and had been abandoned by his mother at birth, so Tara had taken him in to raise. She would be thrilled to bring him down. e assembly For two weeks, the school was abuzz with speculation about who would win the ballot, and on May 28, all 200 students trooped into the gym for a special assembly led by members of the SPIN club to find out. ey started by revealing how much money they'd raised: $414. e money would go to support economic opportunity programming, like goat rearing, for families across the world. Next came Tara, with tiny Sheldon in her arms. As soon as the students caught sight of the seven-pound goat, they erupted in sighs and coos. "He was adorable," Krista remembers. "He totally stole our assembly." en, with a drumroll played out by hundreds of students' feet, the SPIN club opened the envelope to announce the winner. e principal, Lissa Palamar, won by a landslide. e whole school went wild with cheers. en, Lissa picked up the mike and made an impromptu announcement. She would donate 50 dollars on the spot if the second and third place winners also kissed baby Sheldon. ey agreed, and because Krista Wasney had won second place, it proved to be a perfect end to a hugely successful campaign. ough it's not likely that next year's class will host this particular challenge, Krista is sure that whatever they come up with will be great. "It was probably my favourite day of the year, because it was so much fun to see how enthusiastic and supportive of the campaign everyone was," says Krista. "I think it shows that adding the fun factor to anything just improves it." Kissing a goat for change Every year, educator Krista Wasney works to make sure her WE Schools campaigns are unique and fun for her students. This year, with her WE Create Change campaign, she wasn't kidding around. Krista Wasney (left), a teacher at Bird's Hill School in East St. Paul, MB, plants a kiss on the forehead of Sheldon the baby goat as he's held by Tara McKean of 10 Acre Woods Farm on May 28, 2018. (Photo courtesy of Bird's Hill School) By Chinelo Onwualu Over the past year, 200,000 young people across Canada took part in the WE Walk for Water fundraising initiative to help raise money for clean, drinkable water in developing communities around the globe. eir efforts are changing lives— one cup of water at a time. In May, students at Spencer Middle School in Victoria, BC, staged a friendly competition to see which of the classes in their school could raise the most money. e class that won attended the inaugural WE Walk for Water event at the British Columbia Legislature, where they carried repurposed orange juice containers. In June, students in Rideau Park School, Calgary, spent a day walking with backpacks filled with bottled water to raise funds for all those around the world who must trek for miles each day to fetch water. At Sinclair Secondary School in Whitby, ON, 500 high school students raised nearly $5,000 by staging a fun walk that included games like human tic-tac-toe and bean bag races. Members of the school's Youth In Action club led the charge, and on a cool afternoon in April, they transformed the student parking lot into various activity stations to help students learn about the importance of access to clean water. Students had to raise a minimum of $5 to participate, but many raised far more. "e main thing that made this fundraiser so successful was that the whole school was involved," said 17-year-old Maryam Rehman, one of the club's leaders. A month later, in the tiny town of Bruxelles, MB, the 40 students of Ste. Marie School, ranging from kindergarten to grade 8, also staged a campaign. ey carried 10 per cent of their body weight on a seven-mile trek to the neighbouring town of Saint Alphonse. It was only their second year as a WE School, and fundraising had its own set of challenges. Students are bussed in from nearby farming towns, and many come from families that don't always have a lot of money to spare. A challenge where parents could support their kids by directly sponsoring their walks seemed like the perfect way to get everyone excited about participating. It worked. e school exceeded its goal of $1,000. "When I told my students that, they were just blown away," said Ryan Vipond, part-time principal and teacher at Ste. Marie at the time. "ey loved that they're so small but made such a big impact. ey were very proud." ese are just a small fraction of the 2,000 schools and groups that helped 40,000 people gain access to clean water this year alone. And every $25 raised from a walk can add one more person to that number. Learn how you can take part in the next WE Walk for Water on May 10, 2019, at WE.org/wewalkforwater. Walking for water Where there's a will—and a lack of water—there's a way. Students of Sinclair Secondary School in Whitby, ON, pose as a waterdrop after their WE Walk for Water campaign on April 26, 2017. (Photo courtesy of Sinclair Secondary School) Sheldon the baby goat arrives at Bird's Hill School in East St. Paul, MB, in the arms of Tara McKean of 10 Acre Woods Farm on May 28, 2018. (Photo courtesy of Bird's Hill School)

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of WE Day - 2018