WHAT’S IN STORE: Langley businesses rally behind Pink Shirt Day initiatives

In this business column, find out about anti-bullying efforts, chamber events, and a home show.

With bullying one of those top of mind subjects for many in this day and age, more and more businesses are quick to throw their support behind various initiatives.

May I be among those encouraging people to fight bullying. Wear pink – and you have to know, I’m never one to wear pink.

Let me tell you about a few national firms that have told me of plans to jump on this proverbial bandwagon.

One is Toys ‘R’ Us, and the other is London Drugs.

This past Saturday, at the local toy store located in the Willowbrook Shopping Centre, the crew gave out 100 pink “Be a Buddy, Not a Bully” T-shirts to youth.

Staff at all 82 Toys ‘R’ Us and Babies ‘R’ Us stores in Canada got behind the initiative aimed at supporting anti-bullying and inspiring children to stand up against violence.

This was done, ahead of Pink Shirt Day, coming up next Wednesday, Feb. 27.

This movement has grown exponentially since it was conceived in Canada back in 2007, by a ninth grader being bullied for wearing a pink shirt.

His peers stood up for him by wearing pink to school the following day, and now literally thousands of Canadians wear pink to show their support for safe and inclusive schools, workplaces and communities.

This is done each February, on this designated day – also known as anti-bullying day, to educate and inspire not only students, but parents, educators, politicians, and the community at large to take action against violence and bullying.

Will you take part?

The participation doesn’t end at Toys ‘R’ Us, either.

London Drugs is continuing its long-standing tradition of being the Pink Shirt Day official retailer.

What on earth does that mean? Let me explain.

Well, these shirts – sizes youth to adult – are available at yes, you guessed it – London Drugs. And since becoming involved with the campaign during its inception more than a decade ago, this drug store chain has raised more than $1.4 million towards anti-bullying programs.

Net proceeds from the sale of every shirt is distributed through CKNW Kids’ Fund to support youth anti-bullying programs throughout Western Canada including the Boys & Girls Clubs across British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

“We couldn’t achieve that without our customers and staff embracing these important anti-bullying messages,” said Clint Mahlman, London Drugs executive vice-president and chief operating officer. “

Cyberbullying continues to be the focus of the Pink Shirt Day campaign.

So the 2019 official Pink Shirt Day T-shirts proclaim “Be Kind,” offering a message to encourage everyone to THINK before they post on social media, said Sara Dubois-Phillips, executive director of the CKNW Kids’ Fund.

“This year we are focused on encouraging everyone to ask themselves to THINK before posting any online messages,” Dubois-Phillips added. “We want people to ask themselves if it is True, Helpful, Inspiring, Necessary and Kind.”

In 2018 alone, over 20,000 official Pink Shirt Day T-shirts were purchased at London Drugs.

In addition to shirts, London Drugs is also selling pink shirt plush bears, Be Kind toques, and pink wrist bands to raise awareness and funds to support the campaign.

If you hear of other local Pink Shirt Day initiatives happening in Langley, on the business front – or otherwise – please let me know. Call 604-994-1050 or drop me an email at editor@langleyadvance.com.

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Chamber: On the agenda

On the chamber front, there’s been a lot happening this month – including the Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce participation in national chamber week.

Next weekend, Township Mayor Jack Froese is on the agenda. He’s once again participating in the chamber’s frequent coffee & conversation series.

This forum provides local business people, in a more intimate setting, to list to and ask questions of Langley’s top politicians. This month, Froese is addressing the group on Tuesday, Feb. 26.

These events happen at the chamber offices, #207-8047 199th St. and are limited to chamber members only. It’s $15 each, and only a limited number are able to participate because of space. The event runs from 2 to 3:30 p.m.

Topics on the agenda are expected to include economic development, transportation, environment, and community news vital to Langley’s business community.

Also on tap next week, the chamber is hosting another Lunch & Learn on Wednesday, Feb. 27, from noon to 1:30 p.m.

This one features Susan Little, founder of Dynamix Management Consultants. She’ll be addressing the power of controls and efficiency for a strong business. These session are open to members for $10, and the general public for $15. Again space is limited, and pre-registration mandatory.

For more information on these and other learning events held by the chamber, people are invited to call 604-371-3770 or email events@langleychamber.com.

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Langley designer sharing her passion

Are you planning to catch the BC Home + Garden Show in Vancouver this weekend? If so, keep your eyes peeled for Langleyite Sydney Carlaw.

She is the creative director and owner of Purity Designs, and this designer will be appearing on the Telus main stage to let showgoers in on a few of her best-kept design secrets – specifically ideas to help make their space feel more like their own.

Operating out of her design studio in a beautifully renovated barn on a five-acre farm in Langley, she’s finding she’s doing more and more projects locally.

Because Langley is one of the most rapidly growing communities in the Lower Mainland, she’s not having to travel far afield to work, she said. And Carlaw and her team are enjoying the fact that Langley homeowners are shopping local when they are looking for experts to design their homes.

She has also designed projects in Langley for HGTV Canada shows Love it or List it Vancouver and Worst to First.

Carlaw will be one of several guests at the BC Home + Garden Show running Feb. 20 to 24 at BC Place. Info at www.bchomeandgardenshow.com.

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