Reporting Reg Chapman
ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) – We Day, a charity-based music event that started in Canada, invades the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul on Tuesday.
Eighteen-thousand kids from 400 Minnesota schools are attending, and the only way they could get a ticket is by helping others.
Volunteers have been working around the clock to get the event together. According to Dean Phillips, co-chair of We Day Minnesota, the Twin Cities is the first city in the Midwest to host this global event.
“It’s an extraordinary convergence of both the private sector and the public sector coming together on something that’s really remarkable,” Phillips said.
A room full of volunteers who understand the value of people, especially young people engaged in social causes, celebrated Monday night for their role in making the event possible.
“That’s what makes Minnesota great is this long, wonderful tradition of both sectors cooperating and recognizing what’s important, and dismissing politics and perspective sometimes to pursue the greater good,” he said.
Making the world a better place, encouraging young people to make a difference and to take action on local and global causes is something for which Minnesotans are known.
We Day co-founder Marc Kielburger says the program takes that existing spirit and amplifies it.
“Our program is not to replace, but simply to enhance the work that’s already been doing,” Kielburger said. “And the reason I share that is so much work has already been done.”
It’s work that We Day hopes to highlight for the world to see, and hopefully copy.
“We just simply dreamed of changing the world, of making it cool to care,” he said.
All of those 18,000 kids who figured out it’s cool to care will get a full day of celebration Tuesday, with guest speakers like Martin Luther King III, and performances by the Jonas Brothers and Carly Rae Jepsen.
Then it’s back to a full year of action, by supporting causes like homelessness, clean water, supporting the troops and anything else that makes a difference in the community.