It's time to Lift Each Other Up: Pink Shirt Day happens Wednesday
It all started as a small act of kindness back in 2007, when teenagers David Shepherd, Travis Price, and their friends organized a high-school protest to wear pink in unity with a Grade 9 boy who was being bullied.
They took a stand, and distributed pink shirts to everyone around them. When the bully caught sight of what they had done, his face spoke volumes, and he was never heard from again.
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Price and Shepherd’s stand against bullying that day in small town Nova Scotia turned into what is now known around the globe as Pink Shirt Day, and it has only grown each year, with worldwide support and participation. According to the organization, last year alone, people in almost 180 countries shared their support of Pink Shirt Day through social media posts and donations.
Since their humble beginnings, net proceeds of over $2.55 million have been distributed to support youth anti-bullying programs in British Columbia and throughout Western Canada. In 2020 alone, the organization was able to support programs that impacted more than 59,000 youth and children.
This year, Pink Shirt Day is on February 23, and the organization has a clear message to Lift Each Other Up and to “have greater acceptance, respect, and inclusion for everyone.”
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Usually, the organization hosts a number of in-person events to talk about the effects of bullying in our schools, but due to COVID-19, and the restrictions, there’s a limit to what they can do. They’re hosting a series of Facebook live events this week, covering a variety of topics on mental health, mentorship, and the impact the funds raised have on the community and organizations they support.
On the day itself, they’ll be running interviews throughout the day on 980 CKNW with all of their recipient organizations, sponsors and other pertinent stories to the cause. They’ll also be encouraging everyone to show their support by posting a photo of them in pink on social media and tagging @pinkshirtday.
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The popular Pink Shirt Day merchandise, consisting of t-shirts, hats, pins, bracelets, and a newly designed pet bandana, are available for sale through their retail partner in BC, London Drugs and their online store. As usual though, the merchandise is in high demand, so if you’re unable to get your hands on it, the organization recommends wearing something pink and making a donation instead.
Donations can be made on the website or through mobile giving. Anyone can text the keyword BEKIND to 20222 and reply to the prompt with their donation amount of either $5, $10, or $20.