Are you thinking about participating in ‘Dry January’ - a month-long break from alcohol? We already know giving up alcohol for a month could leave you richer, slimmer and healthier – but if you’re in need of some more reasons to maintain your break with Pinot, check out some of the unexpected benefits of giving up alcohol:
Informed Families Blog
A New Year and A New Start
Welcome, 2020! Cheers to the start of a new year and a new decade.
We are encouraged by the recent findings from the annual Monitoring the Future survey. In the past year, the use of illicit drugs (other than marijuana) among 12th graders remains low. The misuse of prescription medicines and the use of alcohol and tobacco cigarettes continues to decline as well. However the number of youth vaping marijuana and nicotine is rising.
In the 1980s, we were fighting to keep our kids safe from cocaine, big tobacco and underage drinking. Today we are battling against opioids, vaping and binge drinking. The drug trends may change, but education and simple, clear communication remain key in keeping our youth healthy and drug free.
Informed Families has been fortunate to have such terrific partners help us spread our prevention messages. We are once again partnering with Publix to promote our Lock Your Meds campaign and messaging in all of their pharmacies this month. We are also working with the Florida Blue Foundation to increase awareness of the opioid epidemic and promote good mental health over the next three years.
Informed Families will continue to deliver on our mission to educate, enable and empower students, parents and communities to work together to keep children healthy in 2020. We are off to a great start!
The National Family Partnership announced the winners of the 2019 National Red Ribbon Photo Contest on December 2. Several Florida residents and schools were included among this year’s winners.
Natalia Solares from Hialeah, FL won a Judges Award in the Home category for Best Use of the Theme. Ms. Solares’ $1000 prize money will go to Youth Co-Op Preparatory Charter School.
The holiday season is here. It’s a very special time of year, and the perfect opportunity to remind ourselves that people are like gifts. We often get confused with the wrapping and fail to look at what’s inside. Sometimes we even forget to look at the gift you are to yourself.
I hope the message below, which I have shared in the past, will once again serve as a reminder of our most precious gifts:
People are gifts sent to me wrapped!
Some are wrapped beautifully;
They are attractive when I first see them.
Some come in very ordinary wrapping paper.
Others have been mishandled in the mail.
Once in a while there is a “Special Delivery.”
Some persons are gifts which come very loosely wrapped;
Others very tightly.
But the wrapping is not the gift!
It is easy to make that mistake…
It is amusing when babies do it.
Sometimes the gifts are very easy to open.
Sometimes I need others to help.
Is it because they are afraid?
Does it hurt?
Maybe they have been opened up before and thrown away~
I am a person.
Therefore, I am a gift to myself first of all.
Have I ever looked inside the wrappings?
Perhaps I’ve never accepted the gift that I am.
Could it be that there is something else inside the wrappings than what I think there is?
Maybe I’ve never seen the wonderful gift that I am!
Am I a gift to other persons?
Do others have to be content with my wrappings…
Never permitted to enjoy the gift?
Every meeting of persons is an exchange of gifts.
But a gift without a giver is not a gift.
Friendship is the gift of persons to each other,
For each other, and for others.
Topics: President's Message
The U.S. Postal Service revealed the new "Drug Free USA
Forever” stamp yesterday in conjunction with Red Ribbon Week, the nation’s oldest and largest drug prevention program taking place each year from October 23 through 31.
Earlier this year, the National Family Partnership and Drug Enforcement Administration submitted a joint letter to the U.S.Postal Service’s Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee, to propose a stamp to raise national awareness about the dangers of drug misuse.
“We are delighted that the U.S. Postal Service is committed to supporting our efforts to promote drug prevention, education and awareness,” said Peggy B. Sapp, President and CEO of Informed Families and the National Family Partnership. “We all must continue to play our unique roles in spreading the word to communities about how individuals can make healthy choices.”
The Drug Free USA Forever stamp features a white star with lines of red, light blue, and blue radiating from one side of each of the star’s five points, suggesting the unity necessary at all levels to effectively address drug use. The stamp will go on sale in October 2020.
Informed Families is honored that long-time supporters Richard Bermont and Adam Carlin will co-chair this year’s 35th Annual Dinner at Joe’s. Bermont and Carlin lead Bermont Carlin Wealth Management at Morgan Stanley, and they both have a strong track record of supporting charitable organizations in the Miami.
“Having Richard and Adam team up to chair our 35th Annual Dinner at Joe’s is amazing,” said Peggy Sapp, President and CEO of Informed Families. “They are enthusiastic about making this milestone dinner one of our best.”
Bermont received the 2019 James W. McLamore Outstanding Volunteer Award by the Association of Fundraising Professionals Miami Chapter at their National Philanthropy Day event. He is a Membres de la Societe of the United Way of Miami Dade, past chairman of the UM Citizens Board, and sponsors a week of interviews at financial institutions in New York for a group of students (Bermont/Carlin Group Scholars) attending the University of Miami School of Business.
Building Healthy People & Healthy Communities
Informed Families hosted a celebratory rally and lunch to wrap up 2019 Red Ribbon Week. The event celebrated all those who value prevention as a way to stop destructive behaviors.
I am delighted to announce that Informed Families has been awarded a three-year grant from the Florida Blue Foundation to strengthen schools and communities. To kick off that effort we invited filmmaker Erahm Christopher to speak at the rally. I first saw Mr. Christopher’s movie, “Listen”, at a Florida School Boards Association meeting and believe it offers a way to address many issues in a holistic manner eliminating the “Cause De Jour” mindset that plagues the media, and thus societal perceptions.
Many destructive behaviors have the same root causes. This is a first step toward educating the public about these behaviors, while reducing the stigmas that keep people from speaking up and asking for help.
“Listen” highlights the need for parents, teachers, everyone to really learn to listen to youth. Informed Families will host a screening of the film and a post-film workshop led by Mr. Christopher in February 2020. He has successfully executed these screenings and workshops in other cities across the nation.
While the media focuses on opioid use, school shootings and tragedies, Informed Families focuses on how to prevent opioid use, school shootings and promote good mental health. More and more people are turning off the news because they are tired of wringing their hands, feeling impotent and lamenting one tragedy after another.
I invite all of our Informed Families friends, supporters and Ambassadors to join us in being part of the solution in promoting good mental health. Stop whining about the problems, come and learn how to get involved and be part of the solution; it is healthy for you! Email us if you would like to get involved.
Informed Families newly-designated 2019 Red Ribbon Certified Schools include: Brownsville, Citrus Grove and Homestead Middle Schools in Miami-Dade County, FL; West Orange and Cypress Creek High Schools in Orange County, FL; and North Atlanta High School in Fulton County, GA.
The Red Ribbon Certified Schools in both Miami-Dade and Orange Counties received special recognition during the October School Board meetings in their respective counties.
On October 7th, Informed Families' President & CEO Peggy Sapp had the opportunity to travel to Washington, D.C. to attend the DEA’s Red Ribbon Rally. The rally served to drive messaging around Red Ribbon Week, our nation-wide campaign dedicated to encouraging Americans to live healthy and drug-free.
The event recognized the accomplishments of several young people who have excelled in calling attention to the benefits of a drug-free lifestyle through their artwork. The DEA’s Acting Administrator Uttam Dhillon was in attendance, as was the First Lady who delivered remarks about the dangers of vaping and the need to eliminate drug use among our youth.
Congratulations to the winners of the Family Day Photo Contest: Heidi Hernandez from Naples, FL; Timmy Kutz from Naples, FL; and Tatiana Vuono from Miami, FL. The winners, who were randomly selected, each win a $100 gift card generously donated by Publix.
Freedom Middle School in Orlando, FL won the grand prize for schools by having the most entries in the State of Florida. They will receive a $250 Publix gift card.