Community & Current Events

Pay it forward during back to school season

By: Craig and Marc Kielburger

Photography by John Hryniuk Author: Canadian Living Credits: Photography by John Hryniuk

Community & Current Events

Pay it forward during back to school season

By: Craig and Marc Kielburger
Get back-to-school ready, and send a child overseas to school, too!

With two teacher-parents in our household, back-to-school shopping was a big deal for us as kids. It took the sting off the sad end of summer and, as boys, we always needed new gear after a year of juice-box explosions and soiled backpacks.

This year, we've been overwhelmed by the response from Canadian school kids during Free the Children's "Year of Education." They recognize how fortunate they are to have problems like homework and quizzes. They want to help remove the education barriers facing 57 million primary-age children around the world who don't attend school.

We're excited to announce that Staples and Me to We have partnered with ACCO to simplify socially conscious shopping with a line of eco-friendly school supplies that include lunch bags, pencil pouches and backpacks made with recycled pop bottles. While these are essential for back-to-school season in Canada, clean water, medicine, farm seeds and healthful lunches are imperative to a child hoping to go to school in a developing community.

We're putting these two back-to-school realities together, so that Canadian students can help their peers overseas get an education, too.

All products come with unique eight-digit codes for buyers to track where their purchases made a difference in Free the Children communities overseas. Each purchase helps break down the barriers to education.

Now Canadian kids can go back to school in sustainable style—and make a world of difference.

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How your child can give back this school year

Help children go to school

With a full line of eco-friendly school supplies from Staples and Me to We, Canadian students can be sustainably stylish and help their peers overseas go to school, too!

By: Marc and Craig Kielburger Source: Free The Children Credits: Canadian Living

How your child can give back this school year

Provide school supplies

Help provide a year's worth of school supplies to a child in a developing community, where the cost of even the basic pencil and paper can be a major barrier to education, by sporting this backpack made from recycled pop bottles.

By: Marc and Craig Kielburger Source: Free The Children Credits: Canadian Living

How your child can give back this school year

Track your impact

Each product comes with a unique eight-digit code that allows you to track where your purchase changed a life in a Free the Children community.

By: Marc and Craig Kielburger Source: Free The Children Credits: Canadian Living

How your child can give back this school year

Give clean water

Sales of our reusable water bottles and zipper binders help supply clean water to families for one year. That means their daughters can attend school instead of walking miles to the nearest water source.

By: Marc and Craig Kielburger Source: Free The Children Credits: Canadian Living

How your child can give back this school year

Provide medical attention

Buying a set of locker magnets or a binder made from recycled chipboard helps provide medicine through a Free the Children community clinic, breaking the cycle of illness that prevents many children from attending school on a regular basis.

By: Marc and Craig Kielburger Source: Free The Children Credits: Canadian Living

How your child can give back this school year

Feed a child

The purchase of a lunch bag made from recycled pop bottles, or a mobile-phone case, helps provide a month’s worth of healthful lunches to one child, strengthening mind and body for academic success. Meanwhile, a pencil pouch made from recycled water bottles, or a binder made of post-consumer-waste paper, helps provide drought-resistant seeds for a family to grow nourishing food. Sticky notes help plant a tree that fends off desertification, which strains traditional farming practices. For more tips from the Kielburgers, find out how you can raise a child who wants to help the world.

By: Marc and Craig Kielburger Source: Free The Children Credits: Canadian Living


Craig and Marc Keilburger are founders of Free The Children and Me to We.

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Pay it forward during back to school season

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