WestJet and LiveDifferent join for a Christmas Miracle

If you’re reading this, you’ve likely already seen WestJet’s Spirit of Giving video. (If you haven’t had a chance to view it yet, take a moment to watch it below. It’s inspiring, heartfelt, and might just bring up some tears of joy!) 

First of all, we’d like to say that LiveDifferent is extremely grateful for the many years of partnership we’ve had with WestJet as their first international Community Investment charity. Over the years, they’ve made a tangible difference by engaging over 200 of their own employees on LiveDifferent Builds in the Dominican Republic, and through their gifts of flight that help our staff administer our international programs. We’re very excited to continue with WestJet in their commitment to us and to the communities we work in for many years to come. 

It was this commitment that led to WestJet’s decision to share the Christmas spirit with the community of Nuevo Renacer in a way they will never forget. 

“The WestJet holiday video has become a tradition for us, an opportunity for WestJetters to enrich lives through our fun and caring culture,” said Bob Cummings, WestJet Executive Vice-President, Sales Marketing and Guest Experience. “Having shared the holiday spirit last year with our guests in Toronto, Hamilton and Calgary, as well as with the millions people around the world who watched the video, we decided to celebrate Christmas this year with a community that is near and dear to our hearts.

In addition, since WestJet expected some questions regarding their partnership with LiveDifferent, as well as how they choose Nuevo Renacer as the setting for this year’s “Christmas Miracle”, they put together this behind-the-scenes video. 

We at LiveDifferent love the heart behind WestJet’s Christmas Miracle, and we couldn’t be more proud of how they connected with the local community in a way that was humble, caring, and respectful. By consulting directly with the community leaders to identify the families and individuals who had the greatest need, WestJet’s community investment team ensured that those who really were wishing for a miracle this Christmas actually received one. In addition, by hosting their Winter Wonderland Party, and gifting the community with a safe, accessible playground, WestJet provided a way for all of the residents of Nuevo Renacer to benefit from this year’s Christmas Miracle. 

In the words of LiveDifferent’s Executive Director, Charles Roberts: 

“Bringing the spirit of Christmas to this community was an extraordinary idea that took extraordinary effort. WestJet’s genuine desire to enrich the lives of those in the WestJet world extends to this community too. Providing a memorable and fun experience that celebrates the spirit of Christmas with no strings attached, is something that WestJet did with excellence and careful consideration. We are thrilled to have a partner who shares a deep conviction to value and care for people as their first priority.”

If you’re interested in joining LiveDifferent on a trip to the Dominican Republic, or to any of our host countries, Click Here

Author: LiveDifferent

Date: November 28th, 2014

Proud to Partner

It is with great enthusiasm today that we share the news release of WestJet and LiveDifferent’s enhanced three year partnership!  
WestJet is no stranger to LiveDifferent; in early 2012 WestJet was named LiveDifferent’s airline of choice.   Additionally, in the past two years, LiveDifferent has been gifted all the flights we have needed to facilitate our charitable programs, reducing our administrative expenses significantly, and allowing us to direct our time and resources towards those who need it most.  LiveDifferent volunteers have also being flying at a discounted rate for over a year now, making this life-changing experience more accessible to hundreds of Canadians. 
Finally, an unforgettable community in the Dominican Republic has been transformed, and with WestJet’s help, will continue to be changed for the better, as they annually bring 50 employees to build homes for families in desperate need.
From all of us here at LiveDifferent, we would like to extend our deepest gratitude to WestJet for their incredible generosity to us, and to the vulnerable people we serve!
To read more about our growing relationship with WestJet, click here

Author: LiveDifferent

Date: September 9th, 2014

I’m going back! What am most looking forward to?

We’re back!

The Fall Hero Holiday is finally here, and we have had a chance to meet the new 50 WestJet heroes. Did we look like and feel the same feelings these new heroes are feeling sitting in the boarding lounge about to embark on this life changing trip? I noticed a lot of nervousness, anxiety, excitement and maybe perhaps a little worry. So, yes. Absolutely. We all felt the same way on the first trip and maybe a little bit on this trip, too!
There are so many things I am looking forward to going back on a Hero Holiday. First, I am very excited to see all the people from LiveDifferent again and meet some new volunteers from the organization. In a very close second, I can’t wait to visit and see the families from the first trip I was on. It will be a great little reunion to see how everyone is doing and how they have been enjoying their new homes over the past six months. I heard there is a new family member for the family I built for last trip, so that’s very exciting!
I am looking forward to experiencing the trip through the eyes of the new participants. It is such a rewarding experience, I can’t wait to watch the journey the new heroes are about to start and I can’t wait to experience it all over again right beside them. I am looking forward to meeting the new families knowing we are about to change their lives dramatically. So exciting!
I am hoping to see some of the children that came to the work sites last year. Every day, all day, from start to finish, they were there. They even helped with the projects! The news WestJet is back in town might bring even more of the community out to support us.
So, as you can tell it is impossible to look forward to just one aspect of the trip. I am honoured and grateful for the opportunity to return, so a big thank you to the Community Investment team, LiveDifferent and WestJet. I can’t wait to get started!
This trip is for you Gramma, my new angel. Love, your favourite.
Gayle, Flight Attendant
(Note: Gayle participated in WestJet’s first Hero Holiday in April, 2012. She returns to the Dominican Republic, along with two other previous participants, as team lead for the Fall 2012 Hero Holiday.)

Author: LiveDifferent

Date: October 31st, 2012

Welcome our New CEO!

As of June 1, 2012, LiveDifferent is excited to announce the new appointment of Charles Roberts as our CEO. Charles brings more than eight years of charitable management and international experience to the leadership position, and we are excited and confident in this transition.

From 2006 until his present appointment, Charles served as LiveDifferent’s Director of Programs. During that tenure, he gave oversight to all aspects of LiveDifferent’s high school and humanitarian programs, including Hero Holiday. Under his direction, LiveDifferent’s programs expanded in both Canada and globally, and continue to grow at the present time.

“It has been an honour for me to serve our staff and stakeholders over the past six years. I am humbled by this new responsibility and I look forward to serving in this role as we work together to continue moving LiveDifferent forward! Our exceptional philanthropic model exemplifies best practices in every aspect of what we do. I invite everyone to join us as we continue to bring measurable and practical change through all that we take on!” – Charles Roberts

Charles Roberts is taking over for Robert Irvine, who served as Interim CEO for LiveDifferent from October 2011 until June 1, 2012. LiveDifferent would like to sincerely thank Rob for his guidance, direction, and commitment during his time in leadership, and wish him all success in the days ahead.

For more information, please contact Christal Earle, Co-founder of LiveDifferent ( or call 1 866 432 4464.

Author: LiveDifferent

Date: June 1st, 2012

Delivery of aid to Haiti

HaitiYour kindness made a difference! Our Haitian friends needed to know that they are not forgotten, and thanks to the kindness and sacrifice of so many of you, we were not only able to help them out right now, but we are able to help them begin to rebuild for a stronger future. Thank you for responding to those who need it most. We are honored to be able to deliver aid and compassion that was made possible by the friends of LiveDifferent (formerly Absolute).

[flashvideo filename=videos/thedelivery.flv width=500 height=300 image=img/thedelivery.png /]


  • January 15 – We arrived in Port-au-Prince to assist the orphanages which we support. We spent five days helping and assessing the best ways we could be a support to both them and the families which they are now helping to survive.
  • Supply TruckJanuary 21 – We reached out to our LiveDifferent (formerly Absolute) network to assist in helping those we are connected with in Port-au-Prince and you responded with compassion and love.
  • February 3 – We left for Port-au-prince with the first $10,000 raised for Haiti through LiveDifferent (formerly Absolute). In The Dominican Republic we filled a commercial truck with approx. $8,000 worth of aid.
  • February 5th – We were delivering the aid to the orphanages and tent cities.

 Aid supplies (approximately)

  • 200 cases of water
  • 400 packs of rice
  • 400 bottles of oil
  • 400 bags of ban
  • 600 bars of soap
  • 1000 pack of soup mix
  • 900 roles of toilet paper
  • 1000 packs of cookies and crackers
  • 6 cases of milk
  • 600 packs of pasta
  • 400 small bags of detergent
  • 300 cans of sardines
  • 900 bags if corn mix
  • 5 Large tarps
  • 2 tents
  • 6 Large boxes of medical supplies. (donated by servant heart min.)
  • 4 boxes of clothes (donated by Servant’s Heart Ministries)
  • 500 candles
  • 2200 Honda generator

Other Giving and Expenses

  • $1600 went to support the orphanage (orphanage staff, orphanage vehicle maintenance, baby supplies and orphanage bills)
  • $400 went to pay translators, travel expenses, border fees, and other misc. items needed for this project

Water DeliveryThe Aid was divided into 4 different places: two different tent towns, the orphanage and a displacement camp.
Most of the tent towns we delivered aid to hadn’t seen any aid yet. LiveDifferent (formerly Absolute) is now preparing for our Hero Holiday in Haiti for May. We will also be working with participants on the boys orphanage, installing doors, building a kitchen and replacing a roof on the children’s school.

Author: LiveDifferent

Date: March 1st, 2010

Hero Network Members in Action

On each of our Hero Holidays, participants have a chance to become a member of our Hero Network. The Hero Network is a collection of people who are passionate advocates and champions for LiveDifferent (formerly Absolute).org’s cause. The Hero Network exists to cheer each other on and to motivate each other through communication, opportunities and support. Once becoming a member, participants commit to the following:

  1. Not to go back to “normal” life.
  2. Always remember the plight of the poor.
  3. Do whatever is in my power to help those that need it.
  4. Continually educate myself on issues facing our world.

2009-07-14-snap-chantal-labonte-sudbury-on-pg2.jpgSince the start of the school year, it has been exciting to hear all that amazing things our 34 members have been doing in their local communities. Many have contacted their local newspapers and got their stories of the summer out for everyone to hear, or made sure that their school had our high school presentation, Think Day, visit for all the students to hear our life changing message, others have gotten involved in all kinds of social justice programs offered at their school. One common theme among our members is that they can not just sit back and do nothing.One student who I would like to highlight is Chantal. Chantal is the kind of student you meet and know she has a heart of 2009-07-14-snap-chantal-labonte-sudbury-on.jpggold. She is full of compassion and truly loves to help those in need. Since traveling to the Dominican this past summer, Chantal has gone home with a passion in her heart and memories of those she met and helped during her travels. She has used this as fuel in stepping out raising $400 through a garage sale fund raiser for a community project in the Dominican Republic. She does not plan to stop there and has many other fund raisers to come. Feel free to click on the attached news articles to read all about her exploits.A BIG Thank you to Chantal and all of our Hero Network members who have worked really hard to reach all of their goals.”Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try”.If you are interested in becoming a Hero Network member please email:

Author: LiveDifferent

Date: October 23rd, 2009

Press Release: Absolute launches character education initiative, sponsors services to Canadian schools

Think Day LogoHamilton, ONTARIO – May 23, 2008 – LiveDifferent (formerly Absolute) Leadership Development, Canada’s leading student empowerment organization, is a charity that has been partnering with Canadian schools since 2001. Their “Motivational Experience” – a hard hitting mixture of young speakers, multimedia and music – was the most popular motivational assembly amongst Canadian schools. Building upon the success of this presentation, LiveDifferent (formerly Absolute) is launching a new program called Think Day. Remaking the popular one hour motivational presentation with cutting-edge MakeYouThink® character education curriculum, Think Day will also give schools the option of adding workshops and global awareness sessions to create a comprehensive motivational program that will have lasting results in student’s lives. All of Think Day’s content is suitable for both Catholic and public schools.”We look forward to increasing the effectiveness of our motivational teams, and we believe these additions will do just that”, says Vaden Earle, CEO of LiveDifferent (formerly Absolute) Leadership Development. “Our goal is to continue to inspire this generation with a relevant message that their lives have purpose and value”The workshops and leave behind video curriculum are designed to facilitate discussion between students on issues that are fundamental to them. Global awareness sessions have a huge impact on the perspective students have of not only the world, but their own lives as well. Together, the package is a vital tool for schools that want their motivational and character education efforts to have a lasting impact.The incredible news for schools is that in conjunction with the launch of Think Day, LiveDifferent (formerly Absolute) is fully sponsoring their services (that other organizations charge over $5000 for) with a donation based model of payment, so that all schools, regardless of budget or demographic, will be able to take advantage of the best student empowerment opportunity in North America.LiveDifferent (formerly Absolute) is accepting bookings for the 2008-2009 school year and can be reached at or 1-866-432-4464Click here for promotional brochure PDF!

Author: LiveDifferent

Date: May 23rd, 2008 Article: Youth challenged to get involved in global community Article: Youth challenged to get involved in global communityBy Scott RostsWest LincolnJun 15, 2007

SMITHVILLE — Christal Earle wants youth to know they can make a difference.The co-founder of LiveDifferent (formerly Absolute) Leadership Development, a Hamilton-based charity that encourages hundreds of students to engage in humanitarian relief work, says youth need to understand that they can follow their “dream of what (they) want to be and do”. Earle recently visited South Lincoln High School in Smithville to spread her message during an assembly presented by the Youth for Change.”You and I can make a difference,” Earle told the students and special guests from organizations such as Grimsby Life Centre and International Justice Mission.After a tumultuous time during her youth growing up in Saskatchewan, Earle said one day she decided she wanted “something more”. Looking around the world today and some of the global issues such as aids orphans and children dieing from starvation, Earle said her and her husband Vaden “decided we wanted to do something about it”.From there, Hero Holiday was born. The program provides opportunities for high school students to participate in a humanitarian relief project by bringing practical assistance to those living in extreme poverty. Activities include everything from building homes to distributing supplies to working with children at risk. Last year they even built a school.”People like you and me are going to Third World countries and making a difference,” said Earle.The stories, she admits, are touching and their outlook on life changes as they see first-hand what people living in other parts of the world go through.In 2005, the first year of Hero Holiday, about 180 students went to work with Haitian refugees in the Dominican Republic. She said the refugees lived in a garbage dump, a site that “blows your mind”. She warned the students to ensure they wore their shoes while spending the two hours with their refugees there, so they would remain safe while walking through the dump. When the time was over, she noticed one student wasn’t wearing their shoes. She looked around and discovered none of the students had their shoes anymore.”Every one of the students that day gave their own shoes off their feet to the refugees living there,” she said. “They made a difference.”Earle challenged students to get involved and “make a difference”. She said programs like Hero Holiday are an “invaluable opportunity” to show how lives can change and provide “brand new beginnings” for those in impoverished countries.Opportunities exist this summer, she said, with Hero Holiday. Upcoming trips include the Dominican and Mexico. Information on the organization can be found at .”You will never regret it,” she said of the experiences.

Author: LiveDifferent

Date: June 15th, 2007