Several businesses and organizations are collaborating to kick-start a new anti-bullying program, which includes an inaugural Snowflake Walk that’s taking place this weekend. The name Snowflake Walk originates from Carol Todd’s (Amanda Todd’s mom) nickname for her late daughter, Princess Snowflake.
Port Coquitlam business leaders, along with the Port Coquitlam Youth Society, City of Port Coquitlam, School District 43, RCMP, and Kids Help Phone (Canada’s leading youth counseling service) are collaborating to take a stand against bullying by kick-starting the Be Someone program.
This program will provide tools and resources to youth in the Tri-Cities area that are victims of bullying and are in need of immediate help. The program contains several programs, including:
- A community awareness campaign
- Online resources for victims of bullying, as well as young people who bully and want assistance to change
- Education for parents so they can recognize the signs of bullying and take action
- A bullying help ‘text messages’ platform, which is currently under development
- A new, first-in-BC anti-bullying bylaw in the City of Port Coquitlam
- The inaugural Snowflake Walk fundraising event, happening Sunday December 9
“We need the entire community involved here,” says program founder Gary Mauris, who grew up in Port Coquitlam and is the President and Founder of Port Coquitlam-based Dominion Lending Centres. “The title of this program originates from a slide in the final video plea of 15-year-old Amanda Todd, which stated, ‘I have nobody, I need someone.’ I realized after seeing that slide that I am someone, and we can all Be Someone. It’s critical for us to ensure that every young person who’s bullied has easier access to the help they need.”
The program is visible through Be Someone window decals that have been placed in businesses and public places, alerting young people that those businesses and community facilities are a safe place for anyone being bullied. The goal is to get as many businesses as possible to be involved, forming a community amongst participating businesses, and creating a large network of safe environments.
Organizers say the program will also work to create an ongoing dialogue with young people, teaching them that turning a blind eye to bullying is no longer tolerable. “We’ve intentionally created the program in a way that makes it accessible and transportable to any community in Canada,” says Mauris. “We’re making it available for free to groups that (want) to start an anti-bullying program in their own communities, and we’re challenging every community in the country to do just that.”
Snowflake Walk Event Information
There will be kid-friendly activities at the finish line, including:
- Snowflake-making stations
- Musical performances
Port Coquitlam’s Mayor Greg Moore, Gary Mauris, and anti-bullying advocate and Surrey RCMP Constable Tad Milmine will be speaking at the event.
Sunday December 9
Onsite Registration: 11:00am
Start time: 1:00pm
Port Coquitlam Recreation Complex (2150 Wilson Avenue, Port Coquitlam)
For more information about Be Someone, visit I am Someone.