LYOUTH Helps to Kick Off Red Ribbon Week 2022 with LCAC

On October 21st, Levittown Community Action Coalition (LCAC) kicked off Red Ribbon Week at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church’s Food Truck Friday. Coalition members spoke to parents and youth about the meaning of Red Ribbon Week, which started in 1985 in response to the murder of DEA agent Enrique Camarena when community members began wearing red ribbons to spread awareness about the destruction caused by drugs in America. Red Ribbon Week is now a nationally recognized campaign that encourages communities to partake in prevention activities and educate youth about substance misuse. This year’s theme for Red Ribbon Week which takes place October 23rd -30th was “Celebrate Life. Live Drug Free!”

At the kickoff event, youth were encouraged to think about their commitment to leading a healthy, drug-free life all the while decorating red ribbons, signing Red Ribbon pledges, and even making tie-dyed bats in the spirit of Halloween. Parents spoke to various coalition members to hear more about the work of LCAC and services offered at YES Community Counseling Center to prevent substance misuse within the Levittown and Island Trees communities.

LCAC Co-Chair Corinne Alba notes that drug prevention “takes a village” and this was made obvious through the diverse occupations, experiences, and talents recognized at the kickoff event. Representatives from law enforcement, local businesses, religious organizations, National Guard, schools, and legislation all attended to illustrate their dedication to protecting our communities.

Youth members of Levittown Young Organizers United to Help demonstrated their incredible passion for prevention of drug misuse and underage drinking by engaging with parents and lawmakers about their work as a coalition. President of Levittown Y.O.U.T.H., Sofia Ferreiro, believes the success of the coalition signifies the power of this generation to lead healthy, drug-free lives where youth are equipped with the tools needed to deal with life’s challenges without the use or abuse of substances. Senator Brooks, Legislator Steve Rhoads, and Councilman Dennis Dunne made clear that the voices of youth and those working in prevention are not lost in their lawmaking decisions and that prevention of substance misuse will continue to be a priority in policy. New LCAC Project Coordinator, Hannah Moore, believes this event echoes the passion of this community to support one another and is eager to work towards LCAC’s mission to create a safe, healthy, and secure community through the prevention of substance misuse.

Students also hosted a Red Ribbon Week Game Night on the topic of substance use trivia. Students from the Levittown and Island Trees school districts attended to compete on their knowledge of substance use and associated dangers among youth.