Red Ribbon Week is the oldest and largest drug prevention campaign in the country, according to National Family Partnership (NFP) sources. In 1985, after the murder of a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agent, parents, youth and teachers in communities across the country began wearing Red Ribbons as a symbol of their commitment to raise awareness of the destruction caused by drugs.
This year, families can enter a contest to promote awareness in neighborhoods and win a drug prevention grant for schools. The odds of winning are good, stated the organizers, because families can generate their own online votes from friends, colleagues, schoolmates and family members (and the entries with the most votes win).
To participate in the contest families and students will decorate the front of their homes with this year's message: "The Best Me Is Drug Free."
Here’s how students and their families can enter to win $1,000 for local K-12 school and a new iPad for personal use:
- Students take the Red Ribbon Week message home by working alongside parents to decorate their front door, mailbox, fence, etc. with this year’s theme “The Best Me Is Drug Free.”
- Take a photo with the family and their Red Ribbon Week decoration, then upload by Nov. 2 to www.redribbon.org/contest or www.facebook.com/RedRibbonWeek (must be parents or 18-plus to upload photos).
- The voting begins! Ask family and friends to vote for your entry at www.redribbon.org/vote Nov. 2-16. Ten lucky winners from regions across the United States will win. Winners will be announced at events at their winning schools in December.
This drug prevention campaign is expected to reach more than 80 million people nationwide.
The DEA is co-sponsoring this year’s national contest. "DEA is excited to partner with the National Family Partnership on this contest that empowers communities to come together to talk about the drug problem,” said DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart.
“Red Ribbon Week is also when we honor DEA Special Agent Enrique ‘Kiki’ Camarena, who made the ultimate sacrifice to keep our communities safe.”