Record number of students volunteer in ChangeTheWorld challenge

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376,000 hours spent in communities  in over 900 activities

More than 67,000 youngsters  volunteered in the 2016 ChangeTheWorld – Ontario Youth Volunteer Challenge – setting a new participation record for the annual campaign.

High school students between the ages of 14 to 18 gave a minimum of three hours of their time in communities across the province between April 10 and May 23. Throughout the six-week campaign, students contributed over 376,000 hours in their communities by planning and participating in more than 900 activities.

Cambridge youth volunteers – the Pack-A-Purse challenge

Laura Albanese, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, said: “Congratulations to everyone involved in making this year’s ChangeTheWorld campaign the most successful yet. I’m proud of the thousands of youth who made a real difference in their communities. By participating in ChangeTheWorld, young people across the province developed their skills and talents, formed friendships, and experienced the power of giving back to the community through volunteering.”

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Highlights from the campaign include:

  • Napanee District Secondary School students organized and choreographed a flash mob of 400 youth dancers on the streets of downtown Napanee to raise awareness for the Canadian Cancer Society.
  • Youth from Cambridge and North Dumfries, including students from St. Benedict’s Catholic Secondary School, filled and donated 98 purses, 35 backpacks and six boxes with hygiene supplies to local shelters for their “Pack A Purse Challenge.”
  • Students of Sudbury’s Lockerby Composite School organized the Kids Caring For Kids Cancer Drive, fundraising more than $64,000 for the Northern Cancer Foundation.
  • The District School Board of Niagara’s Student Trustee Senate organized the first-ever “Step Past the Stigma” walk, with more than 300 participants raising awareness of mental health issues in the community.
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Getting involved

The ChangeTheWorld challenge, delivered in partnership with the Ontario Volunteer Centre Network, encourages young people to change the world by getting involved in their communities. It also helps youth develop important skills like teamwork and leadership while gaining experiences that can prepare them for success. The 2016 ChangeTheWorld campaign ran from April 10 to May 23.

  • 67,303 young people volunteered for 376,073 hours during the 2016 campaign.
  • Since 2008, over 248,000 Ontario youth have contributed more than 1.2 million volunteer hours in their communities through ChangeTheWorld.

Patricia Weiler, Chair of the Ontario Volunteer Centre Network, said:”Youth in Ontario have a tremendous potential to make a positive impact on their communities. Through ChangeTheWorld, we witnessed this potential turn into meaningful volunteer action. By contributing their creativity, passion and effort, tens of thousands of youth volunteers have made our province a better place for all of us over the course of the campaign.”  – CINEWS

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