On Pink Shirt Day, we can all do something about bullying

Stories | February 21, 2020
Pink Shirt Day to end bullying

Bullying is a widespread issue that we can all take some responsibility for. We have ideas to get you involved on Pink Shirt Day to boost awareness and raise funds to curb bullying. Cultivate more kindness and empathy along the way. 

What is Pink Shirt Day?

Pink Shirt Day, which falls on February 26th this year, aims to raise awareness around bullying and funds to support programs fostering self-esteem and empathy in children. The international movement has a great Canadian origin story. It started in the small community of Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia, when two Grade 12 students took a stand against an incident of bullying. 

Travis Price and David Sheppard noticed a Grade 9 student being bullied for wearing a pink shirt. Like many bullying incidents, this could have easily gone unacknowledged. Instead, Travis and David decided to do something. They scooped up some pink T-shirts and encouraged students at their school to wear pink clothes in solidarity with the boy who had been bullied. Out of the 1,000 students attending their school, 850 got on board by wearing pink. 

The successful movement quickly spread to neighbouring schools and well beyond. In 2012, the United Nations declared May 4th as Anti-Bullying Day, launching pink-themed events worldwide. 

Why should you care?

It’s likely that each one of us knows someone (either a child or an adult) who has been or is being bullied. According to Statistics Canada, one in three Canadian teens in school have reported being recently bullied. And bullying isn’t confined to school halls and classrooms. It can also affect people online and at work. According to the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, 40% of Canadian workers experience bullying on a weekly basis

When it comes to bullying, no one wins. In the short-term, bullying can be detrimental to both the individual being bullied and the bullier. The effects of childhood bullying are linked to poorer mental health and well-being, and the harms can linger well into adulthood.

Everyone can help stop bullying

Since it is so widespread, we are all responsible for addressing bullying in an intentional, meaningful way. The values of kindness and empathy can go a long way. You just never know how someone may be feeling at any given moment, or if they have been treated negatively by others that day, week, month, or year. Being kind is always a good place to start.

Truly stopping bullying also involves more in-depth thought and discussion. It’s important to understand exactly what bullying entails so that it can be identified and curbed. According to the Government of Canada website, bullying can be identified by unequal power, and actions that are hurtful and repetitive (either direct or indirect). According to Australia’s National Centre Against Bullying, bullying does not entail “single incidents and conflict or fights between equals, whether in person or online.”

Pink Shirt Day helps to boost awareness for bullying and increase funding for programs to counter the behaviour, including programs to prevent violence and to encourage self-esteem, kindness, and empathy among youth.  

Getting involved on Pink Shirt Day

Pink Shirt Day is a great way to open the conversation on bullying and to contribute to solving the issue. At Charitable Impact, we are marking the day by wearing pink and by raising funds for the cause with rose-hued cupcakes for sale (with proceeds going to the Pink Shirt Day campaign).

Want to do something? Here are some ideas to get you started: 

  • Donate: If you can’t wear pink, no problem! You can support the cause anytime by making a donation to the campaign.
  • Build awareness and funds: Start a Giving Group to join together with your friends, family, and colleagues to raise money for the Pink Shirt Day campaign. Why not do a pink waffle, cupcake, or latte day around the office to inspire your coworkers to get involved? 
  • Buy a t-shirt or a pin: Money made from the sale of Pink Shirt Day t-shirts and pins goes directly to the cause.
  • Get social: Take a stand against bullying online by sharing your Pink Shirt Day pictures with the hashtag #PinkShirtDay. Also, for each use of the hashtag #LiftEachOtherUp🚀. “For every like, comment, and share on the #LiftEachOtherUp🚀 Donation Posts on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter this February 26, Swoop will donate $1 to support anti-bullying programs in partnership with CKNW Kids’ Fund.” 

How do you plan to get involved for Pink Shirt Day? We’d love to hear from you! Get in touch at @wearecharitable.

If you feel inspired to create an impact, then Charitable Impact is here for you. With our free Impact Account, you can support all of your favourite causes all in one place. Add funds to your account at any time, take the time and space to plan your impact, and then send gifts from your account to the causes you care about. Sign up for a free account today to get started!

Share this through social media.