Calgary club challenging Canadians to 'Try Dry' for the month of January
CALGARY -- The new year is a time for resolutions. Many people vow to lose weight, be kind to others or swear less.
The Boring Little Girls Club (BLGC) is looking for people to forgo recreational drugs and alcohol for the month of January.
Kira Dunlop is the president and founder of the club that is hosting the second annual Try Dry: Dry January campaign.
"(Participants) can either raise funds from their family and friends and pledge to try dry," said Dunlop. "Or alternatively they can pledge the amount they would normally spend on mind-altering substances for January and then go try dry."
Boring Little Girls Club is a community of sober women, trans and non-binary folks who have fun without alcohol and recreational drugs. Dunlop says for those who don’t wish to become sober, there are opportunities to sponsor other members of the community in their sobriety journey.
"The Boring Little Girls Club is not the sobriety police," said Dunlop. "We believe that there’s so many ways you can be sober and we do not judge anyone on their addiction habits our substance use habits, that is absolutely up to you."
Since the start of COVID-19, 18 per cent of Canadians report an increase in drug and alcohol consumption due to the lack of a regular schedule, stress and loneliness.
"We have seen an upswing in people’s substance use habits during the pandemic,” said Dunlop. “Alcohol and mind altering drugs allow us to numb ourselves."
The 2020 Try Dry fundraiser aims to raise $10,000, with 75 per cent of proceeds going to the Alpha House Society’s Downtown Outreach Addictions Partnership (DOAP).
It was initiated in 2005 as a mobile diversion response to street-level intoxication. DOAP is made up of three mobile teams and one team dedicated to city transit platforms.
Members respond to calls from businesses, community members and other homeless-serving agencies. Last year, the DOAP program conducted 20,759 transports.
Alex Harris is the outreach team lead for the DOAP team that’s made up of 20 full and part-time staff.
"So we’re able to get folks to Alpha House if they are under the influence of a substance and get them somewhere safe," said Harris. "Where they can be monitored by staff."
Harris says the team is seeing an increase in calls as winter takes hold. He appreciates the BLGC initiative because additional funds keep vans on the road and it maintains the ability for DOAP to respond to calls.
“The community support especially right now like with how things are its amazing to see that people are still willing to come together and fundraise and provide that money to us and help support the vulnerable population and vulnerable Calgarians,” said Harris.
Maya Smith is a sober supporter who is in charge of social media and public relations for BLGC.
“I think people can use (Try Dry) as a chance to reset, I know I will,” said Smith. “I don’t drink a lot but it’s still a nice thing to put your mind to and at the end of the month you’re like look, I accomplished something, I gave back, that’s what’s really important so yah it’s exciting.”
Learn more about Try Dry online.