Working with this global movement has been life-changing.
Our Ecuador honeymoon with ME to WE was eye-opening.PHOTO: SARA BROWN
Clean water isn’t a luxury—it’s a basic human right that millions of people around the world lack access to because water sources are either unsafe or too far from their home. We work closely with WE (which includes WE Charity and the ME to WE social enterprise) to help provide this basic necessity to those in need through hand-ups rather than handouts. Because when you give time, love, education, acknowledgement, lessons, and skills that are passed down to the next generations, these communities can take ownership and pride in the work they’ve done to overcome poverty. And that’s just one way WE is changing the world! We’re reflecting on five of our favorite moments with this incredible movement.
Photo credits, from top: WE; Maciej Dolzycki; Marc Bates; Fortessa; Sara Brown
WE LEARNED FROM TWO OTHER BROTHERS
I was in fifth grade when I first learned about WE, which Craig and Marc Kielburger founded after hearing the tragic story of Iqbal Masih, a child slave in Pakistan who bravely spoke up for human rights and was murdered when he was just 12 years old. The Kielburger brothers—who were kids themselves at the time—decided they had to do something. In my class, we learned about the purpose of Craig and Marc’s organization, and I’ve looked to them ever since as an example of how anyone can make a difference. —Linda
WE VISITED SCHOOLS IN KENYA
On our first trip with ME to WE, in 2017, we learned firsthand what it means to truly work with a community to create education and clean water solutions that last. It’s a domino effect that encourages positive change: Access to clean water means children have more time to attend school; that means they can learn about agriculture and in turn educate their parents; their parents can then grow better crops and provide nourishing food for the family; and that gives the mothers more time to hone their crafts and businesses, allowing them to earn money while at home.
WE MET OUR FUTURE LEADERS
When we walked into The Forum in Los Angeles for WE Day California this past April, we saw thousands upon thousands of motivated and inspired youth. You can’t buy a ticket to WE Day—all of the young attendees had earned their way in by taking on local and global causes. (Drew was honored to be a guest speaker that night!) The energy in that stadium was nothing short of electric—we could literally feel the kids’ excitement, their passion, and their drive to do good. We met students from all over the country, and they shared how they’re making a difference in their own communities. We met the leaders of the future!
WE PUT A SPIN ON OUR WEDDING
Setting up a charitable wedding registry was the very first thing we decided on when it came to planning our wedding. We wanted to share our love story in hopes that the spirit of giving would inspire others. So we put a spin on the traditional gift registry by curating our favorite finds and donating a portion of every item purchased to WE. Thanks to everyone who participated, we raised $50,000 to help provide clean water to people around the world—we had set out with a goal of $30,000! (You can actually still purchase our wedding favor pizza set, which also supports WE.)
WE HONEYMOONED FOR A CAUSE
We used our honeymoon to see for ourselves how WE is transforming people’s lives in Ecuador. We met local entrepreneur heroes Miguel and Maria Vargas, who spent ten years petitioning for a clean water line after their young daughter died from drinking the polluted river water. When WE started working in Ecuador, they teamed up with Miguel and the local government to build clean water projects! The most important thing we learned was the value of the minga—Kichwa for “community work.” It is a way of life and how they support one another. It is the coming together of a community to help someone in need, be it to build a bathroom, a school, or a women’s center that stands to promote gender equality, among many other values.