Katie Elsey

Katie Elsey
"You can do something in your life and make a difference, or you can just exist."

–Katie Elsey

Katie Elsey is in Grade 5 at Evans Elementary. She received the Rick Hansen Difference Maker Award in recognition of her dedication to raising funds in her community of Chilliwack.


Taking inspiration from Rick Hansen

Katie first heard about Rick Hansen at an early age from her parents and learned his full story at school. "I found Rick's story inspiring because his disability didn't stop him from doing his part and doing what he did," says Katie. "I was very proud to receive the Award."

Just like Rick, Katie is determined to make a positive difference in the lives of others. "The quote that motivates me to volunteer is 'We have a choice to live or to exist'," she says. "It means that you can do something in your life and make a difference, or you can just exist." There is no doubt that Katie has truly taken that message to heart.

Raising funds for good causes

Katie was inspired to raise funds by her mom and the fact that her grandfather died of multiple sclerosis. For the last two years Katie has helped her mom to raise awareness and money to support people with multiple sclerosis through the M.S. Walk. Last year she even set up a team called "Katie's Friends" to encourage students from her class to raise money. The team raised over $650 and Katie was the top fundraiser in her age group.

Katie has also participated in a Zumbathon fundraiser, which involved doing zumba classes for an incredible 3 hours. The event raised over $2000. Each year at her birthday party Katie asks friends to bring $10 (or more if they wish) and donates half of the money to her local animal shelter, where she adopted her cat, Jasper.

This year Katie again took part in the M.S. Walk and raised over $600, keeping her title of best young fundraiser. She also continues to sponsor a child and to support her local animal shelter. She hopes to do the M.S. walk for as long as she can, and to do more work in her community in the future.

Young people should volunteer

"It makes me feel good to help out with these causes," says Katie. "By helping out in my community I have learned that I am very lucky. I think other young people should volunteer in order to learn that not everyone has what they have."

We congratulate Katie on her dedication to making positive change within her community, and wish her every success in her future fundraising endeavours.

The Rick Hansen Difference Maker Program empowers young people to make positive change in their communities. Click here to find out more.

Read more stories of inspirational young Difference Makers here.