#BeTheChange: Me to We partners with Staples and ACCO Brands

The excitement is palpable, the cause is worthy. For the first time ever, students and parents across Canada have the power to make a difference with their back-to-school purchases and help thousands of children in Latin America, Africa and Asia receive access to education. Me to We, in partnership with Staples and ACCO Brands, launched its first line of eco-friendly school supplies with an impact.

The partnership kicked off with a huge event in Toronto this morning, attended by over 200 eco-conscious students, Free The Children co-founder Marc Kielburger, Me to We CEO, Roxanne Joyal, VP of Merchandising at Staples, Pete Gibel and a surprise celebrity appearance from JRDN.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="730"]20140619_C7982_PHOTO_EN_41603
(left to right) Me to We CEO, Roxanne Joyal; VP of Merchandising at Staples, Pete Gibel; Canadian R&B recording artist JRDN, Free the Children co-founder Marc Kielburger with daughter, and Youth activist, Hannah Alper joined together at Staples' Front Street location in Toronto to officially launch the Me to We eco-friendly line of school supplies. (CNW Group/Staples Canada Inc.)[/caption]


Me to We's line of school supplies extends from backpacks and lunch bags, to tablet sleeves and notebooks, and are made from eco-friendly materials like recycled plastic bottles and post-consumer paper. As a part of Me to We's Track Your Impact initiative, all products come with a unique eight-digit code for buyers to track exactly where their purchase gives a life-changing gift. Each product provides a different gift - backpacks give a student overseas school supplies for one year; binders ensure a tree will be planted; lunch bags give a child healthy meals, and reusable water bottles provide one year of clean drinking water for one person, among other gifts. As Canadian students gear up for class they will also help send their peers in developing communities to school.

If you're thinking about style, the new line has you covered. Me to We school supplies come in a variety of bright colours and patterns. You can choose between vibrant colour streams, playful bursts of graphics and inspiring scripts. Prices range from $1.50 - $29.96 CAD.  A total of 16 items have been created in various designs for the collection by Me to We.

Also announced at today's event is Staples' support of a new Free The Children campaign called We are Rafikis. Inspired by the Swahili word for "friend," the We are Rafikis campaign gives Canadian students the opportunity to be a friend to Free The Children's developing communities around the world through selling beaded Rafiki Friend Chains that will help families lift themselves out of poverty. Every Rafiki sold raises funds for Free The Children's sustainable Adopt a Village development model and makes a lasting impact by giving a child or family a life-changing gift, from school supplies, to clean water, and even medical care. We are Rafikis kicks off September 2014 and educators and students will be able to pick up their Rafikis package to get started at a Staples location near them. More information on We are Rafikis can be found here: www.freethechildren.com/wearerafikis.

For more information and to check out the new product line, click here.

By Adam

June 19, 2014