Red Ribbon Week is really important to me for a lot of reasons, but one of the most gratifying reasons is that Red Ribbon Week is a unique celebration that all of us in the alcohol and drug prevention world can celebrate together. In the world of Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD), Red Ribbon Week is an anchor of a SADD chapter’s year, and students love to plan out their activities and promote RED for nine days! Even struggling SADD chapters who can only pull together a couple of activities a year will put a stake in Red Ribbon Week, so the week pulls SADD Nation together like no other. SADD chapters also become aware that organizations of all stripes in their communities and states are also supporting this week when they see red ribbons on car antennas, in the mall or even at church.
Red Ribbon Week has attained this special status because it has retained a message that is simple, clear and allows people from all walks of life to come together to promote a drug-free lifestyle. This clarity lends real power to the message – for this week, red ribbons reign and people are united in a single goal. This strong showing makes a powerful and important point for youth involved perhaps for the first time in a group activity – there are a lot of people all over the country who are with you on this cause, who will help you, who will speak up for you, who will have your back. You are not alone on this journey, and you may not even know who is with you. But at this time of year, for one week, everyone shows their red colors. And students can be proud to be SADD and be part of it.
Stir it up! Go RED!
Penny Wells, President and CEO
Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD)
Penny Wells is the president and CEO of Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD). SADD was founded in 1981 as Students Against Driving Drunk and currently has thousands of chapters in middle schools and high schools across the country comprised of students committed to promoting safe and healthy choices for themselves and their peers.