Student Voice—Red Ribbon Week
Red Ribbon Week is a nationally recognized campaign that brings awareness, advocates healthy and smart decisions, and educates today’s youth on the destruction drugs can have in your life. The Waconia High School SADD group celebrated Red Ribbon Week from October 24th to the 31st. During this time, we did many activities, such as inviting a speaker to the high school, tying red ribbons on cars, pledging, and supporting a local food drive, all to promote awareness about the effect substance abuse can have on your life.

Throughout the week, we provided our student body with the chance to pledge themselves to a lifestyle of smart decision making. Every lunch period of every week day, two of our club members ran a table in which we supplied markers, pre-cut red paper hands, and bracelets for those who participated. It was wonderful to see kids walk by and gladly write their name on a hand and promise themselves to never take part in a list of destructive decisions we printed out for them to remember and avoid. At the end of the week we proudly hung the handprints on a wall near the main entrance to the school so everyone could see the commitment their peers had made.

On the Monday of Red Ribbon Week, the members and officers of SADD went around the school parking lot and tied red ribbons onto teacher’s, staff, and student’s cars. As we were tying, we realized that many people still had ribbons on from previous years! By tying these ribbons, we gave everyone a reminder not to drink and drive. This physical reminder is helpful to many and we hope to continue doing this in the future!

On the Tuesday of Red Ribbon Week we had speakers from Know the Truth come and talk to us. Teachers were able to sign their class up to go to the auditorium and listen to the speakers. There were three speakers and they did a wonderful job. They talked about their lives and how they got into making bad decisions. It was such a brave thing, telling people about the terrible things they went through, but it was also really inspiring hearing about how they overcame it. The things they said were really eye opening. We were very thankful that they came to share their stories with us and hopefully their messages reached people within the audience, about the harmful effects of drugs and alcohol.

As the end to our Red Ribbon week, members of the SADD group volunteered to collect food for Mackenthuns Stuff a Truck. On Halloween, we split into groups and went to neighborhoods in Waconia. Overall, people were generous with their food donations. Almost everyone donated at least one or two cans of food. It felt great when a person would tell us that we were doing a great thing for our community. One aspect of SADD is to make our community a better place to live in. By collecting food, we are providing a better life for the people in our community. We didn’t have as many people show up to collect food as we would have liked. We still, however, collected several boxes of food that went to the Stuff a Truck. We hope that SADD can carry this tradition on and help better our community.

Another fun activity that SADD supervised this week was a door decorating contest. The doors were decorated to represent the ideas of Red Ribbon Week but also have a Halloween theme, “Say Boo to Drugs.” The winner was a door based off of the movie The Nightmare Before Christmas. All of the doors had a lot of work put into them and it was a great activity for the whole school to participate!

Red Ribbon Week is a week of awareness about the effects of drinking, drugs and other unsafe decisions. Throughout the week different SADD members helped to organize and run different activities. This week is always very fun because you get to see many different people, not just SADD members, get involved with our activities. It is a very good way to spread information to students about making safe decisions and staying away from drugs and alcohol. Red Ribbon Week is a great tradition that we plan on doing for years to come.