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Microsoft, Allstate, Unilever Sponsor California’s First ‘We Day’ Youth Service Event

Microsoft, Allstate and Unilever are sponsoring California’s first We Day — an educational initiative aimed at inspiring students to become active local and global citizens — on March 26.

Organized by international charity and educational partner Free the Children, the event will feature celebrity speakers and performers including recording artists Macklemore, Selena Gomez and Jennifer Hudson, Kid President, and actors Seth Rogen and Orlando Bloom. It will bring together 16,000 students from over 400 schools across the state.

Spearheading its arrival in California are long-time Free the Children supporters and We Day California co-chairs Natalie Portman and Magic Johnson, along with philanthropic thought leaders Jeff Skoll, founder and chairman of the Skoll Foundation, Participant Media and the Skoll Global Threats Fund; and Daniel Lurie, CEO and founder of Tipping Point Community. Professional sports teams including the Oakland Raiders, San Francisco Giants, the San Jose Sharks and the Oakland Athletics are also lending support to We Day.

“I believe in the power of young people to change the world, but they need support and guidance to do so,” said Portman, Free the Children ambassador and We Day California co-chair. “We Day helps to bring that passion to life, encouraging young people to take meaningful actions towards the issues they care about and giving them the tools to make it a reality.”

Since 2007, youth involved in the We Day program have raised $37 million for over 1,000 local and global causes and logged more than 9.6 million volunteer hours, Free the Children says.

Tickets to We Day cannot be purchased — they must be earned by students through service. They can do this by committing to take action on at least one local and one global initiative of their choices as part of the year-long educational program called We Act. The We Act program supports students and educators with free educational resources, student-led campaigns and support materials to help turn the inspiration from We Day into sustained activation.

After nine events across the US and Canada in 2013, We Day kicked off its 2014 events series in London on March 7; subsequent events are scheduled in Seattle (March 21), California and Ottawa (April 9).

From children helping to helping children: ConAgra Foods and Procter & Gamble, with the help of country singer Hunter Hayes, have teamed up to help Feeding America tackle the ongoing issue of childhood hunger in the US with the 2014 Child Hunger Ends Here campaign, through which the companies hope to help donate up to 7 million meals to the more than 20 percent of children across the country that are food insecure.

Mike Hower is Marketing Communications Manager at Carbon Lighthouse. With a background on both sides of the communications podium — as a journalist and strategic communicator — he is committed to helping organizations address climate change through sustainability innovation. Previously,… [Read more about Mike Hower]

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