The Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Vancouver Island (BGCCVI) are focusing on generating awareness about anti-bullying for Pink Shirt Day this year.
“This year we’re putting a focus on our clubs, our individual clubs, promoting anti-bullying in their programming,” says Linda Thomas, manager of fundraising and community relations for BGCCVI.
“In the Comox Valley our out of school care programs will be doing specific activities with the kids — they’ll be doing talks with them, they’ll be doing activities centred around anti-bullying, so we’re focusing more this year on awareness with the kids.”
Thomas notes a focus on “teachable moments” which are used to teach kids through experience.
The sixth annual Pink Shirt Day is on Wednesday, Feb. 27, and it’s designed to send a powerful message that bullying, in any form, is not OK.
BGCCVI launched Pink Shirt pins — which are small pink pins shaped like T-shirts — last year, and Thomas says they are once again available at the Comox Valley Club office.
The pins are $5 with proceeds going to support local Boys and Girls Club programming. The Comox Valley Club office is located at 367 11th St. in Courtenay, and it’s open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday to Thursday. Thomas also says people can call her at 250-338-7582 to make alternate arrangements.
Pink Shirt pins are designed to be worn all year long allowing wearers to show they are taking a stand against bullying all year.
She says Pink Shirt pins were successful last year and are proving successful again this year, noting Coastal Community Credit Union really jumped on board with them this year.
“We originally gave them 300 and then we gave them 50 more and they’ve sold all them and they need 17 more so that’s 367 pins so Coastal Community Credit Union,” she says of credit union employees enthusiasm for the pins. “That’s fantastic for us to see something like that happen.”
Meanwhile, Pink Shirt Day T-shirts are available at London Drugs, (in Driftwood Mall), as they have been for the entirety of the Pink Shirt Day initiative’s life.
“We are proud to return as a staunch supporter and partner of the sixth annual Pink Shirt Day,” says Wynne Powell, president and CEO of London Drugs in a news release. “We encourage everyone to support this important awareness campaign and purchase Pink Shirt Day T-shirts from London Drugs.”
T-shirts are $9.80 each and proceeds go to Boys and Girls Club programming and the CKNW Orphans’ Fund.
Thomas notes Pink Shirt Day T-shirts are available at Old Navy locations this year as well, of which there are none in the Comox Valley.
She adds helping youth understand bullying, and what to do if they see it happening is especially important.
“Kids and youth see bullying happen all the time and for us it’s important that we teach the youth in our programs what to do if they see bullying, what to do if they’re experiencing bullying, what to do if someone comes to them to talk about bullying,” she says. “It’s a valuable tool to have to know what to do…We want to encourage our kids and youth that are in our programming to not just stand by and let it happen, to speak our and to be advocates for those around them and themselves.”
For more information on BGCCVI visit www.bgccvi.com and for more information on Pink Shirt Day, visit www.pinkshirtday.ca.