The Ponoka Youth Centre has been selling anti-bullying awareness T-shirts throughout the month of February, and encouraging everyone to take a stand against bullying by wearing them every Wednesday leading up to Pink Shirt Day on Feb. 24.
The year, the shirts feature the words “Lift others up!” The logo was designed by one of the youth centre’s Keystone Club members.
Funds raised from the pink shirts go to covering the cost of making the shirts and then to youth programs.
Pink Shirt Day started in Nova Scotia and is now an awareness day that is celebrated across the globe. More information on the history of Pink Shirt Day can be found on pinkshirtday.ca.
Bullying comes in many forms
Essentially, it is described as a form of aggression where there is a power imbalance; the person doing the bullying has power over the person being victimized.
In additional to any physical trauma incurred, bullying can result in serious emotional problems, including anxiety, low self-esteem, or depression.
There are several types of bullying:
– Physical bullying: using physical force or aggression against another person (i.e., hitting).
– Verbal bullying: using words to verbally attack someone (i.e., name-calling)
– Social/relational bullying: trying to hurt someone through excluding them, spreading rumours or ignoring them (i.e., gossiping)
– Cyber bullying: using electronic media to threaten, embarrass, intimidate, or exclude someone, or to damage their reputation (e.g., sending threatening text messages).
According to pinkshirtday.ca, countries across the globe are now organizing anti-bullying fundraisers of their own, including Japan, New Zealand, China, Panama, and numerous others.
In fact, last year alone, people in almost 180 countries shared their support of Pink Shirt Day through social media posts and donations.
“As the Pink Shirt Day movement grows each year, we not only see more and more people practicing kindness – both online and off – we are pleased to use the funds raised through official merchandise sales and donations to help hundreds of kids affected by bullying,” notes the web site.
Since 2008, net proceeds of over $2.55 million have been distributed to support youth anti-bullying programs.
“In 2020 alone, we were able to support programs that impacted more than 59,000 youth and children.”