Guiding encourages each girl to be everything she wants to be. From Sparks to Rangers, girls in Guiding do amazing things to make the world better. Through community service, friendship, advocacy and so much more, girls are a collective force of change makers!
Girl Guides of Canada’s Change Maker Award celebrates girls’ confidence, resiliency, independence, open-mindedness and fulfillment as defined by herself. The award recognizes girls across all branches as they take actions, small or large, local or international, community based or far-reaching.
Nominations for the 2020 Change Maker Award open in February.
I pack shoeboxes for children around the world. I have been packing shoeboxes since I was three. In Sparks we packed 15 boxes. It makes me feel happy to send gifts to others who don't have as much. I collect pop cans for money and use it to buy toys for the boxes I pack at home. I packed 40 shoeboxes. I've done a shoreline cleanup. We collected garbage from the beach, grass and road. It was fun picking up the garbage, I felt happy. I'm excited to do another cleanup. I invited two friends to come to Sparks. I like all the girls in my unit. I like to be friends with everyone. I know the Spark motto – "I promise to share and be a friend." It's important to me. I was in the Remembrance ceremony and laid the stand for the wreath. I was wearing my Spark outfit and a poppy. I go to the Remembrance Day ceremony every year. I collect food for my school breakfast program. I would feel sad if there were kids who didn't have food, everyone should have food. I do a lot of things with my mom and grandma to help people. We took hats downtown for people. I give toys and clothes I don't need because I've grown bigger, to other kids. I like to share with my friends, and others. When I grow up, I want to be a doctor. I want to help people if they get injured or break a bone. Being a nice doctor would make sick people calm and happy when they see me. Being a nice doctor would make a difference in the world, and I want to make a difference.
My name is Sophie and I am a first year Spark. Last summer I wanted to plant food and share it with people who don’t have any. We planted lots of strawberries, cucumbers, tomatoes, raspberries, and broccoli. We went to the homeless shelter three times to drop off sandwiches, fruits, and vegetables. Over the winter, our Sparks group also made 17 care packages for our local homeless shelter and I got to deliver them! I want to make this world a better place because everyone deserves to be loved.
I would like to nominate Lucy, my friend in my Sparks unit. Lucy is always smiling and is very nice to me and everyone. She is making the world a better place by being a good friend.
I would like to nominate Olivia who is my friend in my Sparks unit. She is creating a better world by being so nice to everyone. She is always polite, kind, and funny.
I'm submitting this nomination because I believe I made a change in the support of endangered animals. Instead of accepting gifts, I did a fundraiser for my 8th birthday for WWF. I raised 425 dollars, also I increased awareness amongst my friends and family for the extinction of wild animals. Because wild animals are becoming more endangered every day and if it continues with the same speed then some species will become extinct very quickly. Hopefully the awareness will reach more people and our kids will be able to learn about these animals while they are around.
I help take care of my world and am kind to others. I adopted an orangutan in Borneo and gave money to keep him healthy and not extinct. I helped to build a bike and donated it to a boy in Bali because he didn’t have one. I also donated my bike and toys and clothes at Christmas time to families who need it. I take care of the environment by picking up litter. I also made a lemonade stand and gave all the money to the Terry Fox Foundation. We raise money for heroes like Terry Fox and sell cookies to make money for Brownies. Everyone is a change maker who is kind and had good manners and is respectful to other people and the environment.
Aubrey was diagnosed in 2017 with Wolfe Parkinson white syndrome, that is a heart defect. Aubrey took drugs to keep her heart rhythms under control until she was big enough to have surgery. This past December she finally had her cardiac ablation done and it was called a success. In February 2018 and this February 2019, Aubrey campaigned for The Heart and Stroke Foundation raising more than $2300 so that other people have a chance to be diagnosed and helped through that foundation. Aubrey didn't let her heart problem get in her way of helping others.
Quinn is my sister. She is just like everyone else, only special. She has special needs. She wears braces on her legs and needs help from grownups sometimes. She loves Brownies. She goes every week. She always participates as best she can. She always looks out for all her friends. She is the first one to check on someone if they are hurt or crying. She makes the world better by being herself. She shared her special Olympic coaches with us at Brownies this year. It was fun.
I work to be a change maker at school, at home and at Guides. At school, I raised over $500 for Breast Cancer selling popcorn. I wrote letters to the mayor about homelessness and to Tim Hortons about their use of single-use plastics. I made tourtière for the local nuns. I am also raising awareness about poverty, eco schools and healthy schools. In my unit, we made scarves for the homeless, sang and made cards for seniors, sewed hearts for ICU babies and wove milk bag mats for third world countries. With my family, I raised $51 for the legion selling handmade poppies and raised $115 for the Ontario SPCA, we ring the kettlebells for the Salvation Army at Christmas and donated to Project Share.
I believe that I am a good candidate for this award because I have completed two campaigns to help out those in my community. The first campaign I would like to mention was called “Bears for the Brave”. This was a campaign where I collected stuffed animals to donate to the local police station, they were to be used by officers to comfort people in tough situations. I did this in memory of someone who was very close to me, who worked at the police station. My goal was 43 bears, in the end, I collected 97 bears and I was excited to achieve more than double my goal. A couple years prior to that campaign I started another one, where I made bags of personal items to give to people in need. These bags contained items like mittens, scarfs, hats, toiletries and facecloths. With help from my family and community, I collected enough items to make about 50 bags and I worked with my church and a local charity to get these bags to the people that needed them most. I had a lot of fun doing both of these and the most rewarding part was seeing the faces of everyone who I helped and everyone who stood by me and helped with both of my projects and I hope to do more in the future.
Fiona is very kind and always thinks of others before herself. Here is what she has done this Guiding year: she visited and made cards for patients and workers at a Veterans hospital, she wrote letters to factories asking them to reduce the amount of pollution they create, she ran in the Terry Fox Run and the Neon Night Run for Childhood Cancer Research, she made valentines for veterans, she made care packages for abused women and children and brought them to a shelter, she collected and donated toys to the local firefighters toy drive, towels and blankets to an animal rescue, and food to the food bank. Fiona does a lot of volunteering and horseback riding competitions but still works hard to learn a lot with Girl Guides and earn a lot of badges!
The biggest thing that stands out for me about Sienna is her sense of social justice. Sienna gets very bothered when she thinks that people are being treated unfairly. She stands up for people on the playground and at school that she thinks they are being left out or treated badly. She offers to play with them and is quick to give up her food when people don’t have a snack. She won awards this past summer at Camp Tamarack (Grande Prairie) for empowerment and belonging for the way she treats and builds up other people. Everyone takes notice. Sienna really cares about homeless people. Whenever we go to the city, she packs a little backpack. She makes sure that she has change and carries packages of chips and granola bars in case she sees a homeless person that she can help. She makes sure to say hi to them so that they feel that someone cares for them. She also makes sure that our parents have extra change in case she runs out. Sienna openly shares these concerns with others. She tells stories in her class about how they are people too, and that it is not their fault that they are in this situation. I can see Sienna choosing a career later where she can help people more, like a nurse or a social worker. Sienna is an incredibly caring person.
I would like to bring awareness to Guides across Canada, that they can make a difference doing something they enjoy. In 2016, I started The Birthday Box Project (GTA), to recycle party supplies and help kids in shelters have a happy birthday. The project started when we were cleaning out our family party cupboard, we had things for a bunch of different themes. I remembered years earlier my Brownie unit put together a box of Christmas decorations and toys for the local shelter. So, I thought I could do the same with birthday decorations and gifts. My friends also had leftover party supplies, we put all our stuff together and made up 10 birthday party-in-a-box kits and delivered them to the local shelter. The shelter workers were so happy and told us that most people living at the shelter don’t have money to spend on party supplies and this would make the children, and their parent(s) very happy. Birthday parties provide an opportunity for joy and celebration at the shelter. I knew we had to do more. I asked my friends to ask their friends, posted on community social media pages and made a Facebook Page for people to join. There are 300+ members upcycling/donating their leftover party supplies to my project. Over 150 party-in-a-box kits have been made and delivered to local shelters. Some of the shelters reuse the kits, so even more kids are celebrated. Upcycling the leftover/unwanted party supplies is helping the planet by saving them from the landfill and helping kids feel special with a birthday celebration. I believe all children deserve to be celebrated, no matter where they live.
Being a member of Girl Guides has really opened my eyes to the importance of helping others, making a real difference in people’s lives and really appreciating what you have. Three years ago my dad was diagnosed with MS. This was really bad news and it hit our family hard. My dad couldn't work anymore. But it was ok because he had insurance that paid the bills and paid for his medication. Unfortunately, not everyone is this lucky. My third year of Girl Guides we talked a lot about service projects and I was working really hard to get my interest badges. I wanted my event planning badge and decided (along with the help of my mom and my synchronized swimming coach) to create an MS Sync or Swim-A-Thon to help the MS Society raise money to help local people with MS as well as to aid in the research to find a cure. It was a great success that first year raising $2300, and the girls had so much fun our Synchro Club has made it an annual event. The second year raising another $2500. I can't wait until next year to see what we can do. And to think it was all because of a Girl Guide interest badge and thinking about a service project. I love Pathfinders and how it gets me thinking about the world and other people, but mostly how it helps me take action and make a difference.
Samantha is one of the most hardworking, driven and passionate people I have ever met. She is one to take charge, she’s the girl to be the life of the party. However, when something needs to get done she just goes ahead and does it. No hesitations, no questioning, just goes and does it. In high-pressured situations she knows how to handle herself and those around her. She handles well under stress and is inclusive of everyone else. Her mom works as a flight attendant, so Samantha gets the opportunity to work for Air Canada. She helps with “Dreams Take Flight”, which is an amazing cause helping the less fortunate travel to Disney Land. She has been helping with this program annually for a long time. Samantha is incredibly generous, she has two younger brothers. She cooks 3-4 meals a week for them, to helps her mom who works hard and is dedicated. Samantha is incredibly mature, she acts as a mother in many situations. Talking with her brothers or convincing us to not do anything stupid that could cause us to hurt ourselves. There is no one who I personally know of who deserves this award more than Samantha. She’s such a leader and inspiration to me, to my peers at school, and to girls in my patrol.
I am nominating Shaelyn because she is everything that this award stands for! She has done a solo bottle drive, raising over $1,000, for the neonatal unit at Kelowna General Hospital. She has also made crafts and sold them to raise money to purchase presents for kids at Christmas who normally wouldn't receive any. Shaelyn has also organized a book drive to give books to kids who don't own any. On top of all of that she volunteers time to sing for seniors at the nursing home and volunteers with the local skating club teaching the Canskate program to little kids. Shaelyn is a role model to me and everyone around her!
I consider myself one of the luckiest people alive because I have a family who loves me, I am born in a safe country, have access to an education, food and water at the tip of my fingers at all times. Sadly, I know that's not the case for others. I started helping others when I was four. My cousin had just been diagnosed with cancer. Though I didn’t understand what it meant, I knew something was wrong. For my fifth birthday party, I asked that instead of gifts donations would be made to hospital where my cousin was treated. A few years later, I partnered with an organization called Smile Train and raised enough money to help six children receive corrective surgery for their cleft palate, a surgery they needed but otherwise could not afford. That year, I joined my school team and helped organize projects throughout the school year that focused on helping others in need. In grade six, I started fundraising to build a school in India. Just under two years later, I had completed raising the $10,000 needed to build it. Due to my efforts, I was awarded the Governor General’s award for Caring Canadians. Since then, I have worked on several other projects including providing zinc tablets to zinc deficient countries, gifting goats to families in Kenya and am currently working on raising five thousand dollars to build a sustainable water system in India. Along with this, I am in my fourth year of volunteering with an organization called WIAIH which works with those who are differently abled, and I am a Special Olympics coach in Track and Field and Softball.
I am nominating myself for the Change Maker Award because I am committed to creating a better world around me. Both inside and outside of Girl Guides, I work to create meaningful change. I believe in making small changes to amplify the good that already exists in the world. I went on a service trip to Tanzania over the summer of 2018 with Girl Guides, we helped to build a school, fetched water, and helped repair huts. I also regularly volunteer my time with younger units, to help leaders and share my love of Guiding with younger members. Outside of guiding I am an extremely active member of my school community, there isn't an extracurricular I don't do. I am a member of my school's gay-straight alliance, educating those who have questions and providing support to those who need it. I am also involved in student council, creating change within my school for the benefit of our student body. I am also a mentor for young girls interested in robotics, this involves teaching them coding, building, and troubleshooting. I am an organizer for an annual school event promoting self-esteem and self-love to teenage girls within my school district. The event is called Beautiful You; it is student organized and student led. Finally, I am a member of the Be The Change Team at my school, we are committed to helping those in our community. We recently held a book drive for a local elementary school.
Alyrra helps out with younger Girl Guide groups in our district. She loves to go camping with them. She seems to really like working with kids and showing them new skills and teaching them. She also does a lot of volunteering with her skating club, working with the younger kids teaching them to learn how to skate. She is always willing to cover girls that are sick or away for their shifts also. When kids see her inside or outside of skating they get so excited. She also volunteers at skating competitions and events. She always tries to include everyone around her. She speaks English, French and basic Spanish but if that wasn’t enough she also taught herself sign language and this year she is learning Japanese also so that she can communicate with more people to make them feel accepted. She has also been volunteering with Calgary Stampede parade, Alberta Days, Canada 150 and Storybook theatre to name some of them. She really likes volunteering at GlobalFest because she gets to see the fireworks. She really loves animals also so I think she will end up working with them also, but she isn’t old enough yet to help at the shelters.
Aly is an amazing example of someone who deserves this award. Aly spends every day making friends, being kind, is outgoing and a very well-rounded human. She is becoming a life guard and has been in Girl Guides for 11 years. She dedicates every moment to having fun and making sure everyone else has fun too. She is a friend to all and is creating a better world by being one. She impacts the community with her volunteer hours, most of the time you will find her either studying hard or at the hospital volunteering her time. Aly deserves recognition.