Over the past few months, and increasingly during the past few weeks, Free The Children has been my focus. In just about every meeting I’m in, “Free The Children”, “We Day” and “Youth engagement” are the hot topics, mentioned so often, team members who don’t know what I do might find it hard to believe I work for a telco. And yet, once you understand what Free The Children stands for as an organization, and how we are bringing our partnership to life, the shared goal becomes clear.
I’m extremely proud to work for a company which has a community investment strategy anchored in the belief that the key to a healthier future, is ensuring our youth are inspired and educated to create positive change. That belief couldn’t be tighter aligned to what Free The Children work to achieve every day, and I am so excited to continue building our partnership as the co-title sponsor of We Day
We Day events are unlike anything I have ever seen in my life. Last year’s campaign allowed me to travel across Canada and represent TELUS on stage in front of 20,000 screaming teenagers. Definitely an experience I will never forget. The energy in a stadium full of hopeful and passionate teenagers, united in their shared hope for a better world, is enough to give anyone goosebumps.
With one year in the We Day world under my belt, I’m eager to watch all the pieces come together for this year’s campaign which kicks off today. In addition to our Phones for Good component, where we are giving $25 for every Blackberry 10 smartphone purchase to Free The Children, we are creating an integrated campaign centered around turning youth’s expressions into experiences. And what does that actually mean? We are encouraging youth to tell us, through Twitter or Instagram, what small thing they would do to make a difference, tagging their posts with #EarnYourWay. Alternatively, they can enter directly through our telus.com/weday site. All youth who participate will be entered to win tickets to a VIP We Day experience as part of the TELUS Crew at one of 8 cities across Canada, plus a brand new BlackBerry Q5.
The second phase of the Earn Your Way campaign, will kick off at Toronto We Day. We are still asking kids to share their smalls acts of good, but the prize up for grabs is a VIP back stage experience with the one and only band Hedley. A long time We Day supporter, Hedley was keen to get involved. This exclusive opportunity offered only through TELUS, is another way we are encouraging kids to utilize technology to express their commitment to real change, for a chance to earn their way to awesome experiences. Canadian’s will see the TELUS and We Day creative come to life online, through social media, magazine, in-store, out of home and experiential activation, all working together to paint the holistic partnership story.
Under the leadership and vision of Craig and Marc Kielburger, the We Day movement has achieved phenomenal traction since its inception in 2007. But I believe we are just getting started. With such strong strategic alignment, Free The Children and TELUS can make a significant positive impact on today’s youth, connecting them to people and causes that inspire them through the power of technology. I am so proud to be a part of such an important cause and can’t wait to watch the We Day season unfold.