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BGC Okanagan and students celebrate Pink Shirt Day: ‘Always be kind’

Wednesday marked Pink Shirt Day and students of all ages, staff and non-profit organizations came together to learn what the day really means across Okanagan communities.

Wearing pink shirts themselves, daycare kids at the BGC Okanagan’s Martin Avenue Club learned about Pink Shirt Day and what it means to show kindness.

“We have to start at like the earliest of age where they can understand that it’s not OK to bully and that it is important to treat each other with acceptance and kindness and lifting each other up,” said BGC Okanagan Fun Development and Donor Engagement Coordinator Richelle Leckey.

“We identify, obviously, their developmental needs and try and figure out how they’re going to understand it. So, in many of our programs with the little ones, we’re doing some really fun and interactive kind of activities that mark the occasion and the message.”

In the South Okanagan, Penticton Secondary School students and BGC staff were out doing random acts of kindness throughout the community.

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Students dropped off homemade cookies with kind messages at the Soupateria, local businesses, city hall, the RCMP detachment as well as to community members who were out and about on Wednesday.

“Just little acts of kindness, like even the smallest one, just brighten someone’s day and just make a big difference in people’s lives and that is what we are doing here today,” said Grade 12 student Jeddah Wood.

“It feels really nice. I really like seeing other people happy and brightening other people’s days. And it’s nice to contribute to something like this.”

And when asked why anti-bullying day is important to students and staff, this is what they had to say.

“I think Pink Shirt Day is just really important to just remind people to always be kind, because you never know the day that someone is going through,” said Grade 12 student Kyra Souch.

“Just simple gestures like a smile or asking how they’re doing can really lift someone up and make their day and their week better.”

“We know bullying has been something that has been ingrained in a lot of our culture and unfortunately we’re working hard to figure out how to change that. So, we today celebrate this day, the movement of kindness and lifting each other up,” said Leckey.

Anti Bullying Day is recognized worldwide on Feb. 28, however Leckey hopes that the message goes beyond just the one day.

“We celebrate and we are a part of this big movement that is all over Canada and beyond. But it isn’t just about today,” said Leckey.

“It just is heightened today with the hope is that it carries through for the rest of the year until the next Pink Shirt Day.”

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