“I want to give back to the Edmonton community, because it has given me so much,” Draisaitl said as he announced the commitment on Monday afternoon.
“It’s important to me to support youth learning about how to give back and be active in their communities in order to have a positive impact.”
WE is a group of organizations that supports more than 7,000 local and global causes. The aim is to bring people together to give them the tools they need to change the world.
We Day, which will be held in Edmonton for the first time this year, celebrates the difference young people make through volunteerism.
Draisaitl’s donation will also support Hockey Helps Kids, an organization which aims to strengthen the relationship between the Oilers and the community. This year, WE is teaming up with Hockey Helps Kids to promote local programs.
“I have seen the effect Hockey Helps Kids has as a team captain for D. S. MacKenzie School last year. The students were so dedicated to their cause. They were inspiring,” Draisaitl said.
“WE also encourages youth to get involved and gives them the life skills and experience they need to make a difference. I am happy to support both initiatives, and see the impact they have on youth and our community.”
The $150,000 donation will be matched at 50 per cent by the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation, totalling $1.8 million over the next eight years.
“We are incredibly grateful to Leon and the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation for their generous donation,” said Craig Kielburger, co-founder of WE. “Thanks to them, even more young people across Alberta will join the 4.3 million young people who are already shaping the future they want to see through the WE movement.”
Draisaitl’s eight-year donation commitment coincides with his current contract with the Oilers.