Category Archives: Project Ideas

Red Ribbon Week Project Idea: Boo Bags

Boo to DrugsWondering what goodies you can give away at your local Trunk or Treat or from your door on Halloween? We’ve got a great idea for you. This project would be a great addition to your Red Ribbon Week festivities or to add onto a Fall Festival or Health Fair, too. 

For this project, you’ll put together small goody bags with candy or other items and attach tags with messages associated with the goodies in the bags. Candy should be individually wrapped. Avoid chocolates because they melt. Small clear or colorful cellophane bags can be purchased with seasonal themes and cards can be tied to ribbon to close the bags. They can also be assembled by simply using sandwich baggies with the cards inside or taped to the outside.

Here are some suggestions for what you could include in these, “Say Boo to Drugs” bags

Bags contain: Starbursts, Tootsie Rolls, Dum Dum lollipops, Smarties and a Blow Pop. 

The attached cards with Halloween themes read: 

  • I’m a “smartie” – I stay drug-free!
  • I reach for the “stars” – not drugs!
  • I’m no “dum-dum”…alcohol is not for me!
  • Drinking has no “roll” in my life!
  • I’m not going to “blow” it by using alcohol, tobacco or other drugs!

Use your imagination to come up with more ideas using small items or other candies.

Here are some other ideas:

  • IMG_7258Candy corn (Being drug free isn’t “corny”)
  • Bubble gum (I chew “gum,” not tobacco)
  • Riesen (My future is the “riesen” I’m drug-free)
  • Peanut M&Ms (You’d have to be “nuts” to use drugs)
  • Life Savers (Be a “life saver” – help your friends stay drug free)
  • Small high bounce ball (I can “bounce” back from problems without drinking)

If you want a free printable of these goody bag tags, click here

If you use our printables or create your own, let us know! We’d love to know where and how these are being distributed and if you’ve got other ideas about what candies or toys you could include with drug-free messages! 

6 Ways Your Youth Action Team Can Celebrate Red Ribbon Week

Is your Youth Action Team looking for a way to celebrate Red Ribbon Week 2014? A great way to celebrate Red Ribbon Week (October 23-31) is by utilizing the Be Red Campaign. The goal of Be Red is to take a stand for being alcohol, tobacco and other drug free and to highlight substance abuse prevention efforts in schools and communities. The Be Red campaign is modeled after a youth-driven media awareness campaign, I Wear Red: Bringing Youth Voice to Action, developed by the Oregon Partnership YouthLink Program.

Below are some quick and easy ways to get you going with your Be Red campaign:

  1. 1383946_685989984744338_780485780_n (1)Red Bs: Make or purchase a variety of Bs and paint them red. Hobby Lobby, Michaels and JoAnn Fabrics sell paper, wood and plastic letters in unique sizes and fonts. You can also use different fonts on your computer to print out different versions of the letter B in red or print the Bs on red paper and cut them out. You can draw them free-hand on red construction paper or poster board. Post these Bs all over school and/or the community.
  2. Be Red Scavenger Hunt: Partner with your local newspaper or radio station to publicize a scavenger hunt. During Red Ribbon Week, have participants locate as many red Bs as they can.  They are not to remove or move them in any way, but they need to describe where each B was found. At the end of the week, those who found the most can win a prize or be enetered in a drawing for a prize. This can also be done on a school level instead of a community level.
  3. ElliotBe Red Photos: Recruit team members, family, friends and local public figures to pose around your school or community holding or wearing something red. The picture could be taken with a red letter B, a red t-shirt, red shoes, etc. Ask them to complete the sentence “I wear Red because…” on a small whiteboard. Possible sentence completions could be “I wear Red so my family doesn’t have to experience addiction.” “I wear Red so no one drives drunk anymore.” “I wear Red to be the best athlete I can be.” “I wear Red to do the best in school.” Take their pictures with these messages. If you know how to make the photo black and white with just the red object in color, this is a great technique to emphasize the red. Post these pictures throughout your school and/or community. You can also add them to a blog, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
  4. Be Red Balloons: Purchase giant white helium balloons at Party City or similar store. With a red Sharpie marker, write BE RED… in large letters so it can be seen from all angles. Have these balloons in different areas of the school or during a community event with several red Sharpies available so people can write their Be Red sentence on the balloon. The goal is to fill each balloon with as many sentences as possible, so by the end, they almost look totally red.
  5. Be Red Photo Booth: Paint several large frames red. Gather a variety of red props (hats, sunglasses, beads, shoes, etc.). Use small whiteboards and red dry erase markers for participants to finish the sentence “I wear Red because…” Take their picture holding their sign, wearing red, framed by a red frame.
  6. IMG_4138Public Awareness: See if government agencies, businesses, churches, schools, etc. would allow you to post Be Red photos around their buildings in common areas or high traffic areas. Some good places are City Hall, local restaurants, playing fields and grocery stores. Get your local newspaper or other media outlet to publicize the campaign, and ask community members to participate.

There are several fun and unique ways to share the Be Red message in your community! What are some ideas you have for promoting Red Ribbon Week throughout Georgia?

How to Request a Red Ribbon Week Proclamation

With Red Ribbon Week just around the corner, you may be wondering what great project your Youth Action Team or organization can do. 

You can request a Red Ribbon Week Proclamation for your community!

IMG_0115A proclamation is an official designation of an event. Proclamations are a very good way to educate the public about a specific issue and bring attention to a cause. A proclamation is an effective tool for gaining public recognition of your event because it carries the full support of a key government official in your state or community. 

Just follow these 5 steps:

*Make sure you start the process several weeks ahead of the event. 

STEP 1: Contact the State or Local Government Office

Governors, county executives, mayors, state legislatures, municipalities, counties, cities or towns can issue proclamations. For city proclamations, a mayor, city manager or city marshal may be the person to sign. For counties, it will most likely be the county commissioners. You do not have to have both the city and county proclamations—you can decide which entity in your community would reach more people. 

Determine whether you would like to request a proclamation from your city, county or state and locate the website for this entity. On the website, you may find a tab called “Ceremonial” or “Forms,” under which the proclamation request guidelines may be located. Otherwise, use the site’s search feature and type in the word “proclamation.” Another option is the “Contact Us” link. This area may allow you to write a brief message such as: 

How do I ask the Mayor to issue a proclamation declaring [date] as the following event [event name]? (e.g., October 23-31, 2014 as Red Ribbon Week?) 

In addition to seeking the guidelines for requesting a proclamation, be sure to inquire about the preferred format. This information will allow you to begin to draft an effective proclamation. 

STEP 2: Draft Your Proclamation  

There are two styles to choose from when writing your proclamation: traditional and modern. They differ in format; however, the ultimate purpose is the same, and they are equally effective. While the traditional format is the most frequently used, be sure to clarify which style is preferred with your local official in advance of drafting your proclamation. 

Traditional proclamations begin with a series of statements starting with the words “whereas,” meaning because, “inasmuch,” or “since.” Each clause states the problem or issue being addressed and is followed by a concluding phrase beginning with “therefore,” which specifically requests the support or action needed. Modern proclamations are written in a letter format.

A sample of a traditional proclamation is provided here in order to assist you with drafting your proclamation. Modify this sample proclamation by inserting information about the nature of the issue in your community and local statistics.

Follow the guidelines you receive from your government office. Be prepared to have an electronic version of your proclamation available. Most offices will print the proclamation on official letterhead or certificate paper so sending them an electronic version is usually requested.

STEP 3: Follow the Guidelines for Submitting a Proclamation Request  

Each city, county and state will have their own guidelines and procedures for signing proclamations. The easiest way to research your city, county or state’s guidelines is to look on its website and search for the term “proclamation.” Some of the larger cities and counties will have proclamation guidelines listed. Smaller cities and counties may provide contact information on the website to call or email for proclamation information. 

Oftentimes a cover letter requesting the proclamation is required. Find a sample cover letter written to a city, county or state’s government office in request of a proclamation here. 

In order to expedite the proclamation in a timely manner, the following information is usually required when submitting a proclamation request:

  • A draft text of the proclamation in the preferred format
  • The purpose of the proclamation (e.g., Red Ribbon Week)
  • The date when the proclamation is needed
  • A brief history of your organization
  • The name and daytime telephone number/email address of the contact person

STEP 4: Allow Enough Time  

The wheels of government turn slowly, so be sure to begin the proclamation request process at least three months in advance or as soon as possible. Timing is key if you want to be able to have the proclamation announced at a city council or county commissioner meeting. You may be required to send a copy of the proclamation to these representatives two to three weeks ahead of the meeting. Keep in mind that some legislatures are not in session during the summer (particularly in August), so you may need to build in extra time to find a local official who can sign your proclamation. Do not hesitate to follow up and check the status of your proclamation and offer to provide any additional information the official may need. 

STEP 5: Make an Event Out of It!

photo 3 (4) (1)Again, follow the guidelines that you are given as to whom (and how many) you can bring to the proclamation meeting or signing event. Notify your local paper or media outlets about the proclamation. Distribute printed copies to local reporters. Have the proclamation photo-enlarged for display at a news conference and/or in a prominent public place. Send copies to local newspapers. As with any media piece, demonstrate its importance to the media’s audience by including local statistics.