This year’s official “pink shirt” proclaims “Be Kind” as part of a campaign to encourage people to think before they post on social media.
Cyberbullying continues to be the focus of the anti-bullying awareness campaign, which culminates with a number of activities and events on Wednesday, Feb. 27.
On Pink Shirt Day, many Canadians wear pink to show their support for safe and inclusive schools, workplaces and communities.
“This year we are focused on encouraging everyone to ask themselves to T.H.I.N.K. before posting any online messages,” Sara Dubois-Phillips, executive director of the CKNW Kids’ Fund, said in a release.
“We want people to ask themselves if it is True, Helpful, Inspiring, Necessary and Kind.”
Roots of the campaign began to grow in 2007, when two Nova Scotia students decided to take action after witnessing a younger student being bullied for wearing a pink shirt to school. The students bought 50 pink t-shirts and encouraged schoolmates to wear them and send a message of solidarity to the bully.
Inspired by the story, CKNW Orphan’s Fund later began efforts to raise funds for anti-bullying efforts in Western Canada. To date, more than $1.8 million has been collected from sales of Pink Shirt Day T-shirts.
Net proceeds are distributed through CKNW Kids’ Fund, as the organization has been known since 2018, to support youth anti-bullying programs throughout Western Canada, including the Boys & Girls Clubs.
Richmond-based London Drugs is the campaign’s official retailer of the shirts, available in youth and adult sizes in stores and also online via pinkshirtday.ca. In 2018, more than 20,000 of them were purchased.
The retailer is also selling pink-shirt plush bears, “Be Kind” toques and pink wrist bands to raise awareness and funds to support the campaign. This year, London Drugs is joined by Surrey-based Coast Capital Savings as the retail and presenting sponsors of Pink Shirt Day 2019.