Red Ribbon Week is the largest drug-abuse prevention campaign in the nation. Since 1985, Red Ribbon Week, founded by the National Family Partnership, has been working to support our nation’s families and communities in nurturing the full potential of healthy, drug-free youth. The campaign began when drug traffickers murdered DEA agent Kiki Camarena in 1985, leading to a tradition of wearing red ribbons to present a unified commitment against the use of drugs.
To help spread awareness, provide information, and encourage parents to have family conversations about alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs, CoveCare Center is asking local businesses and city buildings/monuments to shine a red light during Red Ribbon Week. This can be an external light or an interior light that is visible from the street. Secondly, CoveCare Center’s prevention team will provide local businesses with a small informational sticker or card that can be placed on to-go containers, pizza boxes, or in shopping bags during Red Ribbon Week.
“I am so pleased with the support Putnam County has given this project. Many people we have spoken to are very concerned about addiction and overdoses. The outpouring of support for our prevention efforts shows the commitment our neighbors have toward
drug-free communities,” stated Jillian Kulka, CoveCare Center Prevention Educator and organizer of the campaign within Putnam County. “Private businesses, libraries, school districts, and government offices are all coming together to make this event happen,” added Kulka.
Local businesses have found creative ways to promote the week. For example, Llelwyn Boswell, owner of UFC Gym in Mahopac, will be placing Red Ribbon stickers on water bottles and sports drinks during Red Ribbon Week. Cardsmart and Gifts of Mahopac will be decorating the front of the store in a Red Ribbon theme. Happy Feet Dance Studio in Carmel will be sharing how their students are making healthy choices, and Beth Vardy, the Teen Services Librarian at Desmond-Fish Library, is creating a display of informational materials, including books and media to support the “Be Drug Free” theme.
CoveCare Center believes that prevention education and support is vital to our community to help prevent the use and misuse of drugs and the potential development of future substance use disorders. The longer a young person delays the initial use of a substance, whether nicotine, alcohol, marijuana, or another drug, the lower the risk of developing a substance use disorder.
Please join CoveCare Center’s prevention team in bringing this important national campaign to Putnam County. Email Jillian Kulka at [email protected] to become involved in this community-focused program and to request stickers for your organization.