The initiative #JerseysforHumboldt was first proposed on Facebook by a group of hockey parents in British Columbia as a way to honour the Saskatchewan junior hockey team.
On April 6, the Humboldt Broncos were headed north to Nipawin, Sask., for a playoff game when their bus collided with a semi-truck at a remote intersection near Tisdale, Sask. Sixteen passengers have died and 13 others were injured.
Word of the movement then spread throughout the country and now thousands of Canadians have pledged online to take part in “Jersey Day,” by donning a sports jersey or wearing a green ribbon.
That includes commitments from schools, sports teams and businesses big and small — Tim Hortons, Boston Pizza, the southern Ontario transport agency Metrolinx, the Toronto Transit Commission and grocery giant Sobeys Inc., among them.
A photo submitted to Global News shows just how far the movement has spread:
“Students and staff at Maple Leaf International School in Dalian, China show support for those affected by the devastating crash of the Humbolt team bus. Canadian teachers organized this event.”
People have taken to Instagram, Twitter and Facebook to show their support. Here are some of the pictures so far:
B.C. resident, Jennifer Pinch, helped organize the event and said she wanted to let the Humboldt team know it was not alone and “there’s a whole community behind them.”
Pinch has a 16-year-old son who plays hockey and said the tragedy in Saskatchewan hits close to home.
WATCH: Montreal schools tribute Humboldt Broncos with ‘Jersey Day’
“My son goes on these road trips all the time,” she said. “It could happen to any of us.”
Pinch hopes the jersey day campaign will spread throughout Canada and beyond. The group has already received messages from Ontario, Manitoba, the U.S. and even the Netherlands.
She’s asking anyone who wears a jersey to photograph themselves and post it on social media with #jerseysforhumboldt.
— With files from the Canadian Press