SURREY — On Friday, Oct. 18, students from all across the province will descend upon Vancouver's Rogers Arena to take part in the 2013 We Day.Started in 2007 and with numerous events held across both Canada and the United States, We Day is an extension of the Free the Children Charity and the Vancouver iteration will see up to 20,000 students flocking to the downtown core.
Included in those students will be youth from Surrey's Clayton Heights Secondary."We've been going to We Day for the past six years now and we started a Me to We club at our school six years ago," said teacher Sarah Dentrey. "Our club has about 200 kids so its quite a large percentage of the student population."
Called Project Equal, the school's club has raised more than $75,000 for charitable causes in the last six years, and began when Dentrey was approached by one student hoping to create change for the better in Africa.
"One of my students came to me and said I want to buy a school in Africa. I said that's great but we want to do things locally in our community," said Dentrey.
From there, the Project Equal club was formed with the idea that they would not only focus on global issues, but those on their doorstep as well.
"It's local and global. We have a cause we pick every year and this year we chose the BC SPCA and so we're going to go down and volunteer there," explained Dentrey. "We bought a kid a new hearing aid. So we do stuff that's local in our own community and we go down to the Surrey Urban Mission three times a year and help feed the homeless there."
On the global side, the club has also fundraised for two schools in Sierra Leone, as well as two wells and two teaching programs.
And it's acts such as these that allow students to qualify to attend the annual We Day event, which features esteemed guest speakers and musical performances by well-known artists.
This year's guests include Kofi Annan, Martin Luther King III and rock band Hedley, to name a few.
"It has a good energy, great ideas and it's nice for kids to be around other kids who are doing the same thing as them," said Dentrey.
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