Lily Coté and Ella Stanger are out to change the world — and they’re only 11 years old.
Coté and Stanger formed 100 Girls Who Care Victoria, where girls between the ages of eight to 13 give back to the community. It is the first chapter of its kind for girls in the world.
“In the start of June, I heard about 100 Women Who Care Victoria and I starting thinking there should be one for girls so girls can make a positive change too,” said Coté, a Grade 6 student at Monterey Middle School.
She began working on the idea and eventually asked her friend Ella to be the vice chair.
“It’s pretty cool seeing that if we all come together we can make a bigger difference, bigger change,” Coté said.
One-hundred Girls who Care is an extension of 100 Women Who Care Victoria, in which both Coté and Stanger’s moms, Angela and Diane, are a part of.
Three times a year, a group of girls get together with a donation of $1 to $10 and collectively decide which local organization to donate the funds to.
After creating a logo, they handed out flyers in their neighbourhoods and schools, encouraging other girls to get involved as well.
In September, their months of hard work came to fruition and the girls had their first meeting. Between 25 to 30 girls attended the meeting at the 24 Carrot Learning Centre where they decided to donate more than $218 to KidSport, a non-profit organization that provides financial assistance to kids interested in sports.
“Everyone brought some money and it ended up being a lot. I think it was better than I thought it would be,” said Stanger, a Grade 6 student at Glenlyon Norfolk School. “We’re pretty fortunate and that’s because our community and parents give to us so we need to give back.”
The girls planned, organized and ran the meeting without the help of their parents — something Lily’s mom, Angela said is teaching them life lessons that can’t be learned in the classroom.
“It gives them a purpose and I think what they’re learning through doing this is as valuable as what they learn in school,” she said. “As they go on, they’re going to learn more about the littler organizations such as the Umbrella Society and Rainbow Kitchen that 100 Women have learned about. It’s learning about those causes and how to help in the community.”
The next meeting is planned in January or February and another in the spring.
For more information visit the Facebook page 100 Girls Victoria or email firstname.lastname@example.org.