Students at the Sir James Douglas Elementary School’s ‘We Club’ celebrate ‘We Day’ by discussing how they’ve helped people in their community. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)

Victoria elementary school kids celebrate ‘We Day’

Kids at Sir James Douglas Elementary School reflect on their philanthropy work

It all started with a break-in at the Fairfield United Church last spring; thieves stole a laptop, some first aid kit supplies, and most importantly, food.

When students from the “We Club” at Sir James Douglas Elementary School found out about the theft they held bake sales and fundraisers until they collected $260, which they used to buy gift cards to the neighbourhood grocery store, Oxford Foods, and McDonald’s for the Church to distribute to local homeless people.

ALSO READ: New development to house Fairfield United Church aims to maintain neighbourhood feel

Even a year later, as the club celebrated “We Day” – a day that celebrates young people taking initiative to help others – Reverend Beth Walker was blown away.

“It took so much initiative and thought to do this,” Walker said.

She distributed the cards to Victoria’s homeless population and shared the kids’ story. On Thursday she presented at the school to reflect upon how the recipients reacted to the kids’ actions.

“They were touched that little kids would take the time to purchase this for them and that they were really thought of,” Walker said. “That’s the really profound, they said ‘those kids are thinking of us, that gives me hope.’”

ALSO READ: Finalists announced for Victoria’s National Philanthropy Day awards

This year the We Club is running a shoe-box campaign, as well as a coat, sock and toque drive for Victoria’s homeless population.

“They’re in a position where they’re coming from a place of comfort, but they have that big heart and knowledge to be able to see that not everyone lives that way,” said Kaylie Wilkinson, Grade 3/4 French immersion teacher and co-coordinator for the We Club. “It’s pretty inspiring the things they’ve been able to pull off.”

For Grade 5 student Sophie Nicholls, the choice to join the We Club was a no-brainer.

“I just thought it was a really fun idea to help people,” Nicholls said. “I’ve learned that it’s really sad when people don’t have as much as I do.”

Payton Tremplay, Grade 5, agreed.

“I’ve just always hated the idea of seeing people hungry and poor on the streets and I feel like if I join We Club I could someday make a difference,” she said. “I just feel like everyone deserves an equal amount of food and health care and money.”

Kaia Vu, Grade 4, said she joined because she didn’t like seeing the disparity between people.

“I notice all the time that almost everyone in our school is really, really spoiled compared to everyone else in Victoria,” Vu said. ” I joined because I thought that the human issues, like addiction and stuff, was horrible.”

We Day has been celebrated in schools around the world since 2007, and since then international We Clubs have helped raise $119 million for over 6,000 global organizations.

Send a Tweet: @NicoleCrescenzi

Like us on Facebook  

Sir James Douglas ElementaryWe Day

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

(BC Hydro outage map)
UPDATE: Power restored to more than 3,000 Sooke residents

Two polling stations impacted by outage

The mottled sky, the lights coming on at water’s edge and in Victoria West, and the reflections on the building windows make for a scenic sunset photo in Victoria’s Selkirk neighbourhood. (Don Descoteau/News Staff)
Sunset on the Selkirk in Victoria

Send your photos to for a chance to see them in the paper

Christopher Mauro, right, assistant manager of the Sidney Save-On-Foods, and Nick Luney, youth initiatives director for the Victoria Pride Society, celebrate the success of a pandemic fundraiser for the local Pride Society. (Courtesy Save-On Foods)
Grocery managers across the Island pull together for Queer youth

With Victoria Pride Parade and Festival cancelled, Save-On-Foods staff found a way to raise funds

Shay Baker, 17, hasn’t been seen or heard from since Oct. 21 and is wanted on outstanding warrants. (Victoria Police Department)
Victoria police searching for high-risk missing youth

Shay Baker, 17, is wanted on outstanding warrants

The M’akola Housing Society is looking to build two new residences in Sooke to help provide affordable accommodation for local Indigenous people. The projects were granted nearly $1.1 million toward their construction through the Regional Housing Trust Fund. (Photo courtesy M’Akola Housing Society)
Regional Housing First Program strikes another chord in Greater Victoria

Affordable housing partnership grants will help house over 100 people on income assistance

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gives a daily briefing on COVID-19 cases at an almost empty B.C. Legislature press theatre in Victoria, B.C., on March 25, 2020. (Don Craig/B.C. government)
B.C. sees 223 new COVID-19 cases, now 2,009 active

Two new care home outbreaks in Surrey, Burnaby

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference Friday October 23, 2020 in Ottawa. Canada’s top physician says she fears the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths may increase in the coming weeks as the second wave continues to drive the death toll toward 10,000. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns severe illness likely to rise, trailing spike in COVID-19 cases

Average daily deaths from virus reached 23 over the past seven days, up from six deaths six weeks ago

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

Green party Leader Sonia Furstenau arrives to announce her party’s election platform in New Westminster, B.C., on October 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Green party says it’s raised nearly $835,000 in 38 days

NDP Leader John Horgan is holding his final virtual campaign event

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Oct. 20

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

White Rock RCMP Staff Sgt. Kale Pauls has released a report on mental health and policing in the city. (File photos)
White Rock’s top cop wants to bill local health authority for lengthy mental-health calls

‘Suggestion’ included in nine-page review calling for ‘robust’ support for healthcare-led response

A Le Chateau retail store is shown in Montreal on Wednesday July 13, 2016. Le Chateau Inc. says it is seeking court protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to allow it to liquidate its assets and wind down its operations.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Clothing retailer Le Chateau plans to close its doors, files for CCAA protection

Le Chateau said it intends to remain fully operational as it liquidates its 123 stores

Parksville’s Jared Huggan won $75,000 playing BC/49. (BCLC/Photo submitted)
Vancouver Island man $75K richer after purchasing winning lottery ticket at Nanaimo Walmart

Parksville’s Huggan plans to purchase electric bike for partner

Most Read