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Parq Vancouver spoke with the Co-Chair of the Pink Shirt Day Luncheon, Tania Richards, about the important message behind the cause and how people can act now and beyond.

When is Pink Shirt Day?

February 26, 2020

What are the stats?

  • 1 in 5 kids are affected by bullying
  • 400,000 official pink shirts sold to date
  • Pink Shirt Day impacted 59,000 youth in 2019

What’s the story behind Pink Shirt Day?

In 2007, a Nova Scotia high school student wore a pink shirt to school and was viciously bullied for it. The night after, two of his fellow students banded together, buying 50 pink shirts to distribute at the school the next day. The outcome was momentous and immediately silenced the bullies. This small act spoke volumes across Canada, where Pink Shirt Day is now celebrated annually.

What is the most important message behind Pink Shirt Day?

Take your kindness to new heights! Our theme for this year’s Pink Shirt Day is “lift each other up,” a simple but powerful message that encourages us to look beyond our differences and celebrate things that make us unique. When we lift each other up, we see past the things that separate us and instead see the things that unite us as people.

How can people spread the word online or on social media?

This year, we’re running two hashtag fundraising programs, #pinkshirtday and #lifteachotherup, in partnership with Swoosh Airline, which is donating $20,000 to the cause. We know how important it is to lift each other up and show others that we care. I welcome you to spread a message of kindness using either hashtag. Also, on February 26, 2020, each time someone likes or comments on a Swoop Airline’s post using #pinkshirtday, the airline will donate an additional $1 to the cause.

Where can we purchase official Pink Shirt Day merchandise?

Larger groups, including classes, workplaces and more, can buy direct from the CKNW Kids’ Fund and Individuals can go to any local London Drugs location to pick up a T-shirt or bracelet.

How can people incorporate Pink Shirt Day into their own workplaces? 

  • Bring pink baked goods. Decorate waffles, cupcakes or cookies with pink sprinkles or icing, and offer them up by donation.
  • Start a pink or payday. Encourage co-workers, friends and family members to wear pink, and if they don’t, they donate to the campaign.
  • Paint it pink. Cover a wall at work with pink paper and encourage people to unleash their inner artist with decorative contributions by donation.

What inspired the Pink Shirt Day Luncheon in Vancouver?  

The luncheon started in 2012 as a unique way to bring together business leaders, influencers, media, and moms who wanted to help make a difference in school environments. Since then, the luncheon has evolved and now focuses on the bullying trends that adults experience in the workplace. We help raise much-needed funds to support programs dedicated to preventing bullying.

The luncheon is one of Pink Shirt Day’s biggest fundraisers. Attendee support goes towards local anti-bullying programs that teach empathy, compassion and most importantly, kindness. This is a lesson we all need a reminder in—not just our children.

Are there ways to support year-round?

There are so many ways to get involved in this charity. You can help get your schools involved in year-long initiatives and education programs. You can encourage your community, workplace or other networks to donate to anti-bullying initiatives. You can host a fundraiser yourself, with a bake sale, a “wear pink” week or simply match donations.

Parq Vancouver invites you to take up this incredibly worthy cause by celebrating Pink Shirt Day on February 26, 2020. Net proceeds from the T-shirts are distributed through CKNW Kids’ Fund to support youth anti-bullying programs throughout Western Canada including the Boys & Girls Clubs across British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

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