Anti-bullying buttons a way to show support
Friday, Feb 12, 2016 03:43 pm
The annual Pretty in Pink fundraising campaign – initiated by individuals in Chestermere Synergy’s Youth Encouraging Lasting Leadership (YELL) program – seeks to visually capture the essence of the anti-bullying message behind Pink Shirt Day on Feb. 24 in its own unique way.
Christy Redl, youth leadership development co-ordinator with Synergy, said many of the kids had started to notice that if people chose to not wear a pink shirt on Pink Shirt Day, they were actually getting bullied for it.
The group addressed this issue and came up with the idea of anti-bullying buttons that could be worn to show support on that day and sold to raise money for a charity. Redl said considering Synergy wants to engage and develop community leaders, she was pleased with the result.
“We’re always trying to listen to what they’re telling us and to give them a voice,” she said. “It’s not my job to decide for them but its my job to help them have a voice in the community and to give their message.”
The Pretty in Pink campaign is a two-fold project, she said, in that it offers youth the opportunity to get out and engage with the community while raising bullying awareness.
According to Redl, the kids are driven to make a difference because many of them have had first-hand experiences with bullying.
“They know how it feels and they don’t want other kids to feel that way,” Redl said.
The buttons are available for purchase at 13 different locations around Chestermere and Langdon. The list of locations can be found online at truesynergy.ca/annual-fundraisers/pretty-in-pink
The buttons cost $2 for children and youth and $5 for adults.
All button proceeds go to the Children’s Wish Foundation, which Redl said the group is very excited about supporting for the first time this year.
“The Children’s Wish Foundation helps to support a group of kids that are at very high risk of being targeted for bullying,” she said.
The hope, Redl added, is for Synergy to continue to remind the public each year that bullying is something that needs our attention.
She said most kids want to be a positive force in their environment, especially when it comes to the issue of bullying, but Redl has found the tools are not always readily available for them to gain an understanding of how to do that.
“That’s why a day like this (Pink Shirt Day) is important,” Redl said. “It’s not just about wearing the shirts or the buttons, but it’s also about make sure we take some time to education the youth, teachers and adults as well.”