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Informed Families Blog

President's Message - March 2018

Posted by Peggy B. Sapp, President & CEO on March 22, 2018 at 12:00 AM

SAFE HOMES SMART PARENTS

Last week, we had an amazing conference call with one of our absolutely favorite Ambassadors, Tracy Bowen, of Collier County Public Schools. Tracy said that our Safe Homes Smart Parties campaign should be renamed the Safe Homes Smart Parents campaign because Safe Parties Require Smart Parents. Parents are the key to safe children.

She hit the nail on the head and we are taking her advice very seriously and determining what that change means for our campaign. The best ideas come from boots on the ground and Tracy is a wonderful example of someone using her knowledge, experience and passion to help the children in her community grow up safe, healthy and drug free.

It’s been 36 years since we founded Informed Families and I’m still simultaneously confident that our prevention programs will help students make good choices this Spring Break and fearful that some parents are misinformed about the dangers of underage drinking, thus choosing to host parties and expose children to potentially frightening consequences. Social norms about alcohol are overwhelming to a parent’s better judgment. How can we help each and every parent take a stand for Safe Parties?

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Topics: President's Message, safe homes smart parties, safe parties

President's Message - February 2018

Posted by Peggy B. Sapp, President & CEO on February 26, 2018 at 3:09 PM

Have We All Lost Our Minds?

It certainly seems like it from the news!

School Safety is the topic du jour for good reason: the loss of 17 innocent lives.  We don’t educate our children for 16 years just to have them senselessly gunned down on school property and this is the 25th fatal, active school shooting at an elementary or high school since Columbine.

Have we learned anything?  I don’t think so when I listen to the news. The script is the same with people suggesting half-baked answers (it is like whack-a-mole) rather than holistic answer which recognize the complexities underlying the problem.  Is this because we allow media to set the agenda with blaring headlines, tight deadlines and sound bites? Problems can’t be solved on TV before the close of the show; it requires hard work, time and HONESTY about who we are as a people. What are our beliefs and values? Our true beliefs and values define our Behaviors.

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Topics: President's Message, holidays

President's Message - January 2018

Posted by Peggy B. Sapp, President & CEO on January 9, 2018 at 3:18 PM

2017 Approved Peggy Sapp headshot.jpg

Accountability In 2018

Currently in America, agreement is neither common nor in vogue. Finally, I found the current in vogue agreement… IT AIN’T MY FAULT by The Brothers Osbourne.

Whether you are a fan or Country Music or not, country music tells everyday facts. In their 2017 hit, “It Ain’t My Fault,” The Brothers Osborne tell the common theme prevalent in American Society: the story of a person who is unwilling to accept responsibility for his actions AND THEY HAVE GREAT CLARITY ON WHY IT AIN’T THEIR FAULT.

Here’s an excerpt:

 

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Topics: President's Message, holidays

President's Message - December 2017

Posted by Peggy B. Sapp, President & CEO on December 11, 2017 at 2:45 PM

This month, I'm bringing back an oldie but goodie that people seem to really love. It's a great reminder of what's really important this holiday season.

People Are Gifts Sent To Me Wrapped

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.

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Topics: President's Message, holidays

President's Message - November 2017

Posted by Peggy B. Sapp, President & CEO on November 28, 2017 at 10:01 PM

A Time To Give Thanks

November signifies a time of gratitude for all things. As we gather with our families for delicious dinners prepared with the best trimmings, we reflect deeply on what truly means the most to us and express gratitude for those things.

After 35 years of providing families with the tools to help kids make healthy choices, I am extremely thankful for the success of Informed Families. This year, I have plenty to be thankful for.

I am thankful for the hard-working staff of Informed Families for working diligently to ensure that families and children are united to combat the social pressures of underage drinking and illegal drug use.

I am thankful for an active Board of Trustees, who altruistically dedicates their time to supporting our mission and achieving our vision.  

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Topics: President's Message, drug abuse, drug prevention, red ribbon week, red ribbon, Family Day

President's Message - October 2017

Posted by Peggy B. Sapp, President & CEO on October 26, 2017 at 12:51 PM

Why Simple Things Really Do Make A Difference

Recently, I had the pleasure of attending the Annual Conference of the Institute of Coaching at Harvard Medical School. What’s the latest?  We are all stressed, the world is spinning faster and we feel a loss of control, which is creating more anxiety. We live in a VUCA world…VUCA is an acronym for Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity. 

Some simple things to know are: 

1. YOU ARE NOT ALONE. EVERYONE IS EXPERIENCING this rapid rate of change and uncertainty.

2. Don’t try to keep up or get ahead of the curve. Learn how to live effectively. 

3. Put down and turn off the screens. We are driving OURSELVES CRAZY. Who said you had to respond to every email, tweet, and message?

4. Do Mindful meditation for yourself and with your family…there are proven health results.

We are a society addicted to experts, silver bullets and having the right answer, but the new research is showing that the expert is YOU.  Being in Community with others is critical for health and wellness – and the first community we have is our family. We have an immunity to change; we tell ourselves something, but do something else. Yet, by spending time with ourselves and our families, we start to find meaningful answers.

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Topics: President's Message, drug abuse, drug prevention, red ribbon week, red ribbon, Family Day

President's Message - September 2017

Posted by Peggy B. Sapp, President & CEO on September 26, 2017 at 3:20 PM

Normal Day, Let Me Be Aware Of The Treasure You Are

If nothing else, Hurricane Irma helps us to greatly appreciate uneventful times and the normalcy of our regular routines.

We take normal routines for granted; we don’t think about electricity, cable, phones, etc. until they are not functioning.  Then, we get anxious and angry…someone let us down!  Who? FPL, the cable company, the city, surely there is someone to blame for inconveniencing my routine. Unfortunately, Mother Nature doesn’t care about inconvenience to my little routine.

Hurricanes get our attention and force us to reexamine our place in the universe. I love the line, “Do you want to make God laugh? Tell him your plans.”  We witness resilience from people whose house and cars are destroyed. Most say the same thing, “we still have our lives.” 

Normal Day, Let Me Be Aware Of The Treasure You Are for someday I will want to hold you and you will be gone. As our routines return to normal, let’s treasure each routine and normal day.

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Topics: President's Message, drug abuse, drug prevention, lock your meds

President's Message - August 2017

Posted by Peggy B. Sapp, President & CEO on August 24, 2017 at 3:32 PM

Let's Hold The Media, Our Systems & Ourselves Accountable By Asking "WHY," Not Just WHAT"

A recent People magazine cover story focused on 135 faces of opioid epidemic victims. We appreciate the magazine’s coverage of this national crisis.

However, have you noticed the news is always reporting WHAT, WHAT, WHAT AND rarely WHY, WHY, WHY?

Why is the opioid crisis happening?

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Topics: President's Message, drug abuse, drug prevention, lock your meds

President's Message - July 2017

Posted by Peggy B. Sapp, President & CEO on July 19, 2017 at 5:03 PM

Visible & Invisible "Human Chains" Save Lives

To save a desperate, drowning family, 80 Florida citizens made a human chain on Panama City Beach in early July. What a beautiful reminder that by working together, we all have the power to keep children and families safe. News reports spoke of the dozens of beachgoers lining up in response to the desperate mother’s cries, organizing themselves by skill level, with the stronger swimmers in the deeper water and others standing closer to the shore.

A tragedy was prevented and the story spread like wildfire. Why? Because the story warmed our hearts. Who doesn’t love a story about a large group of complete strangers coming together to save children in danger?

That’s what Informed Families’ supporters do each year…they build a network of people to help kids grow up safe, healthy and drug free.  Donors, volunteer Ambassadors, educators, counselors, parents, schools, law enforcement and community organizations form networks to take our four campaigns and prevention messages to schools, building safety nets for children across Florida.

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Topics: President's Message, parents, summer, drug abuse, drug prevention

President's Message - June 2017

Posted by Peggy B. Sapp, President & CEO on June 20, 2017 at 11:33 AM

Unplug To Connect With Your Children This Summer

Summer offers a sense of freedom for kids. With school out of session, children gain a great deal of free time. As parents you take on more responsibility; it’s your responsibility to keep children active physically and mentally and to not leave them to their own devices. While some boredom is good for the teen brain, excessive free time can increase their risk to get involved in harmful behaviors.

Did you know that summer is the riskiest time of the year for teens and drugs? Research shows that more teens try marijuana and other drugs for the first time in June and July than any other time of the year. 

As your first priority, plan time to just have fun together, connecting as a family. Turn off the Media madness (that means you too!) and play a game. You’ll be surprised how much fun it is. Plus, it will reduce your stress and increase bonding, as you learn more about each person in the family. Spending time together walking, swimming or hiking outdoors is also a great chance to stay fit and connected. If one activity turns disasterous, try another one. Don't give up on connecting with your children.  

Communicate with your kids about the things they want to do this summer. Open them up to positive activities such as a sport, community serivce or have them take additional summer classes to keep their minds sharp and vibrant. Don’t allow their minds to become addicted to screens. And monitor what they are consuming when they are watching screens. Common Sense Media is a wonderful, time-saving tool.

If you have two minutes to spare, we'd love to get your feedback on issues that matter to you, as we are always striving to offer you the best research-based support to help your kids grow up safe, healthy and drug free.

I want to take a moment to express my gratitude for all the wonderful dads out there. I hope you had a great Father's Day. 

Until next time,

Peggy

 

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Topics: President's Message, parents, summer, marijuana, drug abuse

About Us

We teach people how to say no to drugs and how to make healthy choices. To reduce the demand for drugs, Informed Families has focused its efforts on educating and mobilizing the community, parents and young people in order to change attitudes. In this way we counteract the pressures in society that condone and promote drug and alcohol use and abuse. The organization educates thousands of families annually about how to stay drug and alcohol free through networking and a variety of programs and services .

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