With Love Gala: a night of inspiration, impact and connection

We are overjoyed to share the heartwarming success of our annual With Love Gala, an event that truly embodied the essence of love, compassion and unity. It was a night filled with incredible generosity and an unwavering commitment to making a profound impact on the lives of youth in both Canada and Haiti.

A night to remember

On the evening of Sept. 28, 2023, we gathered at the Canadian Museum of Human Rights in Winnipeg for a gala that exceeded all expectations. The highlight of the night? The remarkable fundraising effort that took place.

Our With Love community raised $240,000 to bolster LiveDifferent’s youth programs in Canada and Haiti. These funds are instrumental in our mission to expand our programs, opening up more opportunities for young people who truly need them and empowering them to build brighter futures.

This year, we added some unique elements to the gala including an opening youth performance by Marquis Dance Academy, live tattooing by Kate Falk, owner of Long Live Tattoos, as well as Indigenous drummers Shannon and Gladys, Jazz musician Carter Graham, and singer/songwriter Catie St. Germain.

Thank you for making a difference

To all of you who joined us as – donors, partners, sponsors and volunteers – we want to extend our deepest gratitude. Your support was nothing short of extraordinary, and it showed us the incredible power of collective action. Your presence and contributions demonstrated that when we unite with love and purpose, we have the ability to create lasting change in the lives of young people. Your generosity left us truly humbled.

A special thanks to our event sponsor, Derksen Manitoba—your unwavering support for our cause has been absolutely invaluable.

Photos by Lindsay Winter Photography

Learn more

At LiveDifferent, we firmly believe in the power of love and compassion to ignite positive change. With your ongoing support, we will make even more dreams come true for generations to come.

For more information about LiveDifferent and our ongoing efforts, sign up for our newsletter to receive bi-weekly updates.

Once again, thank you from the bottom of our hearts for being an integral part of this incredible journey. Together, we are lighting up the world With Love, one act of kindness at a time.

Author: LiveDifferent

Date: October 15th, 2023

Week in the Life: A transformative experience

At the heart of LiveDifferent Academy lies a transformative experience that transcends traditional classroom learning. Known as the “Week in the Life,” this pivotal week is an immersive encounter that exposes students to the realities faced by countless individuals around the world. It is a unique opportunity for Academy participants to step outside their comfort zones, push boundaries and develop profound insights into privilege, gratitude and human connection.

What is the ‘Week in the Life’?

The Week in the Life is an initiative that brings students closer to the daily struggles and challenges endured by many individuals in underserved communities. It involves living in a basic shelter, engaging in manual labour, and relying on meagre wages to meet essential needs. The goal is to bridge the gap between the privileged world many of us inhabit and the stark realities for many people living in developing communities around the globe.

Through the testimonials of our 2022 cohort, we gain a deeper understanding of the impact of this extraordinary week:

Caitlin: “The most challenging aspect was actually the food situation… Throughout the week, we struggled with what food to buy due to what we could afford, balancing individual preferences, and getting food that would fill us up but was still nutritious.”

Eddie: “The work days pushed me to my limit. Having to ration our food and budget made it a lot worse… It made me feel very defeated and deflated.”

Katelynn: “I left the week in the life feeling confused and overwhelmed… I was so concerned about my well-being for such a short time while there are people who live that way every day.”

Logan: “This past week I found myself regularly asking myself ‘why me?’… How come I was so much more privileged than most of our world?”

Aspen: “I recognized that I was born in a country where salary is an affordable rate and that this is not always the case… It’s heartbreaking that our world is so unfair.”

Expectations, rules and realities

Academy students are leave their phones behind during Week in the Life, they take public transportation to work, are given strarting money of only 250 pesos along with a daily wage of roughly 200 pesos, and drinking water. From there, they are expected to budget for food and additional water, and firewood, and any additional transportation.

Throughout the week there will be random scenarios which simulate real-life problems a family may encounter. Things like new school uniforms, an illness, or medical bills, may come your way and cut into your weekly earnings.

Most important takeaways from the Week in the Life

The Week in the Life is undeniably the most critical week of LiveDifferent Academy for several reasons:

Empathy and understanding: It fosters empathy and a deep understanding of the struggles faced by marginalized communities. Students not only witness but also experience the challenges firsthand.

Gratitude and humility: It instills gratitude for the privileges we often take for granted, such as access to clean water, nutritious food, and safe shelter. It humbles participants and encourages them to appreciate the little things in life.

Human connection: It reinforces the importance of human connection. The support and camaraderie within the group during this challenging week highlight the significance of community and compassion.

Social responsibility: It awakens a sense of social responsibility. Students are motivated to make a positive impact, no matter how small, in the lives of those less fortunate.

Personal growth: It pushes individuals far outside of their comfort zones and encourages personal growth. Facing this level of adversity and adapting to previously unfathomable circumstances can lead to profound self-discovery.

In conclusion, the Week in the Life is not just a week; it’s a life-changing experience that reshapes perspectives and cultivates empathy. It challenges students to question their privileges, appreciate the power of human connection, and develop a sense of social responsibility. It is a pivotal component of the LiveDifferent Academy, a testament to the program’s commitment to fostering global citizens who are compassionate, grateful, and determined to make a difference in the world.

Author: LiveDifferent

Date: October 19th, 2023