by Dennis Dalman
At least 58 students in Sartell Middle School are determined to change the world for the better – at least. That is just the number of students who attended “We Day” Nov. 12 at Xcel Energy Center in the Twin Cities.
Thousands of students from many states participated in the rally/workshop.
The annual event is a combination of pep fest and educational forum on how to make the world a better world through volunteerism and good deeds.
The We Day motto is this: “Every young person has the power to change the world.”
Participants at the rally are encouraged to connect with the world by engaging in one local volunteer activity and one global volunteer activity. We Day attempts to help people change the focus from “me” to “we,” to transform the power of each individual into a power for the entire community.
In an interview with the Newsleader, two SMS students, both eighth-graders who attended We Day, expressed their enthusiasm for the We Day rally.
“It was really exciting,” said Austin Adelman, the son of Chris and Dean Adelman. “It was extremely fun. We learned about people’s past lives and the change happening in the world. We learned we can’t just wait and let others do change for us.”
Good activities, Adelman said, can be very small, such as a kind daily deed, or larger efforts such as collections for a food shelf.
In his church youth group at Celebration Lutheran Church, Adelman and others do many community-service projects year-round, including mission trips to other states and even other countries.
After We Day, Adelman wants to re-double his efforts to collect donations and/or money for area food shelves and to help raise money for the Salvation Army.
Hannah Congdon, daughter of Tamara and Robert Congdon, said she had a blast at We Day. Besides meeting other people and the upbeat music and talks, she learned volunteering really does make a difference and helping people is really “cool.”
Congdon said Sartell schools have already been doing all kinds of community-service projects suggested by We Day. One such program is We Scare Hunger, a kind of Halloweenish trick-or-treat effort to gather food items door-to-door for local food shelves. Another such program is We Create Change, which asks students to bring in any spare pocket change to the school so it can be collected and distributed to good causes. Last year, $500 was collected through We Create Change, and it was given to buy Christmas gifts for children living in poverty.