Safe Fleet once again springs to action to support Pink Shirt Day.
Think Pink, Make Nice, Speak Up, Speak Out, Stop Bullying, Kindness Begins with Me, Stand Together, Be Kind, Be a Buddy Not a Bully, Kindness Is One Size Fits All, Bullying Stops Here… Slogans abound on pink shirts, all with the same theme, “wearing something pink symbolizes that we as a society will not tolerate bullying anywhere.”
For those who don’t know how it all began – in 2007, two grade 12 Nova Scotia boys decided to stand up for a grade 9 boy who was bullied and threatened for wearing a pink polo shirt the first day of school. The two teens bought 50 pink shirts from a discount store and emailed their classmates about the anti-bullying protest they named a “sea of pink” to happen at school the next day. Hundreds of students showed up wearing their own pink clothes, while others donned the new pink shirts. The story was picked up by the Globe and Mail and that article inspired CKNW Orphans’ Fund Pink Shirt Day. And the bullies got the message.
Now Pink Shirt Day is celebrated across Canada, the US, and globally. Even the United Nations’ declared an official Anti-Bullying Day. Everyone wears pink shirts and all are united against bullying. Many of our Safe Fleet companies hosted events to show their support and unite their teams.
ROM in Belton, MO, supplied pink buttons for all staff and visiting executives. Fun was had taking individual and team pictures, showing off everything pink.
FRC in Nesconset, NY, had a continental breakfast for staff and five raffles every half hour. The winners were announced on the loudspeaker, generating lots of excitement throughout the day. The UAB team had been cleverly accumulating points from suppliers for gift cards which were used for the raffles and are already collecting points for next year. They also held a Coloring Contest for staff where unfortunately, one keener got himself disqualified when he brought in his own crayons and started to display his amazing artistic abilities. Prizes were awarded and great fun was had by all!
Elkhart and Safe Fleet Mirrors in Elkhart, IN, hosted sessions for staff with UAB program updates and plans for this year. They announced the decision to gift their Pink Shirt Day budget as scholarships to a senior at each of their two high schools, and two fun activities to help raise additional funds to cover a $1,000 scholarship for each student. They held a 50/50 raffle with the winner being drawn on Employee Appreciation Day, Friday, March 3rd and have just launched a ‘Penny War,’ where groups collect pennies in a bucket, with prizes for the winners with the most pennies. The fun begins when sabotage happens by exchanging silver or bills for pennies in opponents’ buckets. Sounds like fun.
Each Pink Shirt Day session ended with a team-building exercise. Groups formed circles and passed very pink glitter to each team member trying to get all the glitter back into a cup. The glitter stuck to their hands (and everything) and a good message was discussed: “When you say unkind words, act in unkind ways, put unkind things on the internet, it is out there, stuck there, you cannot take it back.” A reminder for us all to be careful what we say, what we do, and how we make others feel.
Prime Design in West St. Paul, MN, staff proudly gathered for a group shot wearing pink and their buttons. More and more staff wear UAB buttons at work and take them home for their children, who in turn wear them to school.
“Whenever one person stands up and says, ‘Wait a minute, this is wrong,’ it helps other people to do the same.” – Gloria Steinem
Thank you for joining in the fun and Dennis Burgess for the selfie photo contest winning picture.
Seon in Coquitlam, BC, hosted a pizza lunch for their team preceded by a presentation on the UAB Program of what we did last year and plans for this year. It was impressive to review all that was accomplished in 2016 to build awareness about bullying, promote kindness, and keep kids safe.
Seon’s Social Committee sponsored a Pink Bake Sale and raised over $200 for an upcoming school event. Staff took lots of pictures with the photo frames and gathered for the group pink picture for the fifth consecutive year.
In the evening, the UAB team attended a Pink Shirt Day Community Dinner sponsored by the City. The local Youth Group hosted the event and they arranged donations of food and flowers to decorate the hall. They spoke on the importance of kindness, as did the Mayor and Mike Bismeyer from our group. Buddy, the Safety Bear, attended and was a hit with children, teens, and seniors alike. We handed out buttons, stickers, and a sheet with emergency numbers and website resources for youth and families. Our local partners, I AM SOMEONE, also attended. It was a good wrap-up event for a good day.
But we think bullying needs to be talked about every day, not just one day a year. If you work with kids in Canada or the US, we urge you to apply for the United Against Bullying (UAB) Grant to start an anti-bullying or kindness initiative for the students in your care. The deadline is Friday, March 31st. If you know someone who works with school-age children, send them the link: unitedagainstbullying.net/grant