1 | How-to Guide - Free The Children

An initiative of:
1 | How-to Guide
2 | How-to Guide
what’s inside
From Marc and Craig
Getting started
Get the word out
• Blog about your experience
• Host a travel-themed fundraiser
• Top ten fundraising ideas
• How to set up your personal
fundraising page
• Celebs who were inspired by their
Me to We trips
Stay connected
• Get involved with our campaigns
• Use social media for social good
Start fundraising
Celebrity stories
• Give a gift with real meaning
Your next step
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marc & craig
welcome home,
Your experience on a Me to We trip has likely opened
up a new world of culture and traditions, adventure and
self-discovery. More importantly, you’ve made a difference
in a developing community. Best of all? Your support
doesn’t have to end just because your trip is done. By
sharing your travel story, you can inspire others to become
involved with Free The Children and stay connected to
the community that changed you. This guide will give you
the tools you need to create a message that will make a
difference. Together, we are storytellers.
Get ready: your journey is just beginning.
Craig Kielburger
Co-founder, Free The Children
Marc Kielburger Co-founder, Free The Children
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getting started
You saw what it could be like living in a world where there
is little promise of health care or education. Where food
can be scarce and access to clean water can be miles from
your home. You now understand the everyday struggles
that people face in developing communities around the
world. You also understand what needs to happen in order
to break the cycle of poverty and what communities need
to sustain themselves and thrive.
Tell your travel story. Share the challenges and successes
you’ve witnessed in developing communities with your
family and friends at home. Tell them about the children
you met and the school you helped to build. They’ll
be inspired to share your passion and commitment
to change—either by supporting your efforts to raise
awareness and funds or by embarking on a journey of
their own.
You are a storyteller, and you can make a difference.
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get the word out
1. Blog about your
Your Me to We trip changed you—it’s time for you to
change the lives of others. Share your life-changing travel
experience on your personal blog. If you don’t already
have one, create it from scratch. Visit wordpress.com for
some great tips on getting started.
You can also submit a blog entry for possible posting on
Free The Children’s website. Your story could resonate
with like-minded people looking to take action overseas,
just like you did. Keep these tips in mind for a successful entry:
The best stories are simple, concise and evocative. A
story between 250 and 500 words will give you more
than enough room to describe your adventure.
Some of the best stories are personal; don’t be
afraid to talk about what you’ve learned from your
Photos are a great way to draw readers into your
story. Photos for use in blogs should be at least 640
pixels wide. Most digital cameras will produce images
at this resolution, if not higher.
Looking for ideas or inspiration for your trip story?
Visit www.freethechildren.com/ftcblog.
If you have any questions on how to submit a story,
email [email protected] with the subject line
“We are Storytellers”.
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get the word out
2.use social media for
social good
Relive your trip through your photos and videos. Sharing
the moments and memories with others is easy: post your
photos on facebook.com/freethechildren or tweet your
photos @freethechildren and show us what a Me to We
trip looks like through your eyes.
Download Facebook cover photos from the We Are Storytellers
webpage and post these on your facebook page to help
spark your friends’ interest in your trip. You might even
encourage someone else to go on a trip of their own! Here are some suggested posts to spread the word
about Free The Children initiatives:
Tweet this!
1. On my @metowe trip I took an unbelievable water
walk! Now help me provide 100,000 people with clean
#waterforlife metowe.com/waterrafikichain
1. My @metowe trip changed my life. Join @freethechildren & change the lives of others.
Collect pennies and take action for clean water.
Facebook posts!
1. I took a life changing trip this year with Me to We and
saw first-hand the impact that clean water has on a
developing community. Their stories inspired me to
take action. Be a part of someone else’s story and
provide them with clean water for one year. Purchase
a Water Rafiki Friend Chain for $10 here: metowe.com/waterrafikichain
2. I learned so much on my Me to We trip this year! One
of the things that changed me most was discovering
that their community lived on less than $2 per day. I’ve
decided to collect my pennies and support Free The
Children’s We Create Change campaign. Small actions
make big change! Join me:
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start fundraising!
1. Host a travel-themed
On your trip, you saw the impact of Free The Children’s
Adopt a Village development program with your own eyes.
Now that you’ve returned home, you can continue to be
part of the change.
Start off by hosting a travel themed get-together as a
fundraiser for the Adopt a Village pillar or community
closest to your heart.
Tip: Make your travel story shine:
Storytelling is a powerful way of engaging your audience
and allowing them to share in your experiences. So rather
than simply listing off everything you did on your trip, try
telling a story with a beginning, middle and end. Here are a
few tips to get you started.
Use stories from your overseas experiences to inspire your
friends and family to support Free The Children’s work by
donating to Adopt a Village.
Follow these steps:
• Select a date for your event. It should be within one to
four weeks from your return from your trip.
Send out e-vites for your fundraiser to a group of at
least 12 people.
Set up a slideshow of pictures from your journey.
Make it a cultural event by serving dishes from the
country you visited.
Share your fundraising goal with your friends.
Have information on hand about how they can
adopt a village and support sustainable community
Pick a few highlights: Choose the most interesting,
memorable and emotional stories of your trip that
anyone can appreciate. These can touch on anything,
from the hardship and struggle you witnessed, to a
connection you made with another young person
It’s all in the details: Details are what turn ordinary
stories into captivating ones! Paint a picture for your
listener by including sensory details of what it was like
to be there.
A day in the life: Take your audience through a
typical day on your trip. What did you eat? How did you
travel? Who did you meet? How did you have fun and
Relate it back: If you’re having trouble explaining
part of your trip, try relating it to something similar
back home. We may have different ways of doing things,
but people’s hopes, emotions and relationships are
Get in touch with one of our youth programming
coordinators at Free The Children, and they’ll not
only give you everything you need to get started on a
fundraising event, they’ll also be there to support you
along the way.
Call us at 416.925.5894 or
email [email protected]
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start fundraising!
2.top ten fundraising
Now that you’ve shared your travel story with your friends
and family, telling them about the amazing community you
met and some of the challenges they face, ask them to join
you in your efforts to raise funds for the community or the
Adopt a Village pillar closest to your heart. Fundraising
events can be fun, rewarding and a great way to publicize
your cause throughout your school and community. There
are hundreds of ways that you can fundraise, such as doing
odd jobs, selling donated items and hosting theme parties.
Be creative! Here are some ideas to get you started:
1. Have a bake sale. Food is the quickest way to a
person’s heart!
2. Organize a neighbourhood car wash.
3. Create a play about a social issue and sell tickets to a
performance at school.
4. Collect donations by helping out your neighbours.
Offer to do seasonal chores, like mowing lawns, raking
leaves or shovelling snow.
5. Hold an “a-thon”. Collect pledges and test your
endurance for singing, dancing or any number of sports.
6. Host a school dance or a karaoke night.
7. Sell funny, seasonal or thought-provoking hand-made
greeting cards to students and teachers.
8. Hold a round-robin sports tournament in your
9. Host a coin drive—one of the most effective
fundraising campaigns!
10. Organize a marketplace. Ask your friends, teachers
and neighbours to bring in gently used toys, clothing,
or books for sale.
TIP: Set up a personal fundraising page to help you collect
pledges and donations. See the next page for details.
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start fundraising!
3.Create your
Fundraising Page
A Personal Fundraising Page is a great tool for sharing
information about your fundraising events, inviting
others to support your goals and keeping track of your
fundraising successes.
7. You can make changes to your profile or fundraising
details at any time. PFPs can stay active for any
amount of time and there is no minimum fundraising
amount required.
Follow these easy steps to set up your Personal 8. For tips on how to maximize the usefulness of your
PFP or if you need any assistance, please send an
Fundraising Page (PFP):
e-mail to [email protected]
1. Go to freethechildren.com/fundraising and click on the
link to the “Youth Personal Fundraising Page”.
2. Create an account with Free The Children by clicking
on the “Sign Up Now” button and filling in your
personal contact information, choosing a username
and password and answering the survey questions.
If you have a pre-existing account, you can use the
same login information to access your PFP. If you are
fundraising in the United States, scroll down for a link
to a U.S. PFP page.
3. Choose which of our Adopt a Village countries,
communities, development pillars or projects you
would like to support, or simply choose to start a
general fundraising initiative. If you decide later on
that you would like to support something specific,
you can make those changes on your PFP in the
“Fundraising” menu under “Edit Your Fundraising
Details” on the left-hand side.
4. Once the registration process is complete, you’ll have
full access to your PFP. Share your personal URL
with your friends and family to allow people to donate
toward your efforts.
5. Please contact Free The Children to notify us of
your registration. Email Sonja Marcan at [email protected]
freethechildren.com, or if you have a relationship
manager, you can contact this person directly.
6. Customize your PFP! Select images and videos from
the Free The Children content available on the page or
upload your own content. These changes can be made
through the “Fundraising” menu, under “Customize
Your Page” on the left-hand side.
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Celebrity Stories
You’re in good company
If your Me to We Trip was a life-changing experience, you’re not alone. Over the years many notable names have travelled to
Free The Children communities around the world, returning incredibly inspired by what they saw. Read on to see how Nelly
Furtado and the cast of Degrassi have continued their journey long after they’ve returned from overseas.
Profile: Nelly Furtado
In 2011, Nelly embarked on her first trip to Kenya with Free
The Children, unaware of the legacy she would be inspired
to leave behind. Seeing first-hand the life-changing effect
that education has on girls in developing communities,
she decided to launch a matching fund to support the
construction of a new all girls’ high school in Kenya,
called Oleleshwa. Named after the resilient Leleshwa
plant, which is known for its ability to survive through the
harshest of conditions, the school is a symbol of female
empowerment and is sure to create a positive impact
in the community for generations to come. With Nelly’s
commitment to matching every dollar donated toward
Oleleshwa, she is sharing her story with hope of reaching
a fundraising goal $500,000.
Profile: Degrassi
For the cast of Degrassi, their journey with Me to We trips
has connected them with young people from around the
globe. Since 2007, they have volunteered in communities
in Kenya, Ecuador, India and Haiti. In 2012, they travelled
to Ghana, landing in the small coastal community of
Asemkaw to break ground on its first Free The Children
school. Not only were they the first to break ground,
they were also the first travellers to visit Asemkaw.
Having been incredibly moved by the warm welcome they
received when working alongside the local people, they
continue to share their story in hope of encouraging other
young people to take action and make a positive change
in the world. Clearly, breaking ground in Asemkaw wasn’t
just a new beginning for the community, it was a new
beginning for the cast of Degrassi as well.
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stay connected
1. Join one of our campaigns!
Take the next step toward a world of social change. Free The Children’s awareness and fundraising campaigns cover
a range of pressing social issues—from local hunger and education to children’s rights and international development.
Get involved to create change here at home and help better our global community.
Hunger is a daily reality for millions of people. This
Halloween, let’s do something about it. Join the We Scare
Hunger campaign (formerly known as Halloween for
Hunger) by trick-or-treating for non-perishable food items
instead of just candy. Collect canned goods at school and
in the community and then drop them off at your local
food bank to help hunger disappear.
Launched in 2012, We are Love is a Free The Children
fundraising campaign. Our �Love is…’ button and card
collection can be used for a creative take on Valentines.
Sell each button for $2 to fundraise for the Adopt a Village
pillar closest to your heart.
To see more visit:
In April 1995, 12-year-old Craig Kielburger learned of the
story of slain child labourer Iqbal Masih, which inspired
him to start Free The Children. This April 18, we will
honour Iqbal’s legacy by taking a silent stand for children
who are being denied their basic human rights. Join us.
Collect pledges for each hour you are silent, up to 24
hours. Then on April 19, break the silence and celebrate
Free The Children’s birthday.
Launched in 2012, Free The Children has embarked on
a penny drive to help bring sustainable sources of clean
water to 100,000 people around the world. Donate your
pennies to an important cause: water. Just $25 in
pennies will provide clean water to one person for life.
Who knew pennies could create so much change?
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stay connected
2.Give a Holiday gift with real meaning
This year, choose an alternative gift to show you really care about your friends and family—and also about your new
family overseas. Free The Children’s online catalogue has a variety of a meaningful gifts that will give back to the
community you just visited. Your gift could provide school supplies for a child, a goat for a family or a loan for a woman
to start a small business.
Check out Free The Children’s online gift catalogue and choose the change you want to make. Visit freethechildren.com/donate/giftoptions
Here are some examples of our past Mother’s Day and holiday gifts:
Give a Mama a goat for her family
Bundle of Baby Chicks
Give a mama a school kit for her child
Give a Mama a small business loan
Farming Tools for a Family
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your next step
your journey begins
Put your new knowledge and leadership skills to work
and take action on an issue you are passionate about.
Continue your journey with Free The Children by joining
a campaign for local or global change or by fundraising to
support sustainable development in the community you
visited. You’ll be surprised at the difference you can make.
Let’s get started!