In 2007 I had just finished maternity leave and headed back to work at CTV. I popped my head into then network president, Susanne Boyce’s office to say hello and see what kind of fun was on the horizon after my year away. She welcomed me back, asked if baby was sleeping and immediately followed up with “Have you heard of We Day?”
Day 1 and already the trick questions.
I shook my head and she threw a DVD into my hands saying “Watch this.” What I didn’t know at the time was that the first ever We Day had happened just a few days before at the Ricoh Coliseum in Toronto with 7500 kids in attendance and some fake palm trees flanking the stage. But what the event lacked in frills, it made up in heart. Young people joined together by their desire and commitment to make the world better.
I watched the show highlights captured by an MTV crew and was instantly captivated. As a new mom, the hope of a generation working together to think less about me and more about we meant that maybe my children would inherit a world better than the one we have passed down. The clips came to an end and for the second time in a day I showed up at Susanne’s doorway unannounced. I held up the DVD and said “This is amazing. This could really be something!” She smiled and said “Great – call Craig Kielburger and make it happen.”
I walked away thinking what does that mean and who’s Craig Kielburger? I went on to collaborate with Craig and Marc Kielburger and the incredible Free The Children team and one year later the We Day broadcast hit CTV and its speciality channels. Since then, the We Day movement has raised $45 million for a countless number of causes and has inspired 15 million hours of volunteer service.
As an individual, it also inspired me.
After a trip to Kenya, I decided to leave my position as Director of Programming at CTV and joined the Free The Children team full time. This is where my path would cross with my amazingly talented business partner Matt Finlin – and 2 years later, Door Knocker Media was born.
In December 2014, Matt and I got a call from Marc Kielburger with the awesome news that an organizational dream was about to come true. ABC would be airing We Day – in prime-time – and he wanted us to produce to show. It was the opportunity of a lifetime to move the needle on social change and we jumped at the chance.
This week’s ABC broadcast is the next step in the journey of this incredible movement. From Ally Del Monte who shares her brave fight against bullying, to Jessica Carscadden who works hard to provide comfort to all children in need, it’s a celebration of the young people who don’t just dream, but who take action in their communities and inspire each of us to want to do more in our everyday lives.
Change always starts small. So this Friday, gather your family to watch the show, become inspired and begin a dialogue about the little things you can do to give back. Thanks to everyone for the support and only 2 more sleeps till Friday!