Informed Families Catalyst

President's Message - February 2018

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

2017 Approved Peggy Sapp headshot.jpg

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.

OffCommunWheelNEW2010.jpgWhat systems need to be in place to help prevent these tragedies from occurring in the first place? 

Children don’t live in a vacuum; they are influenced daily by the actions of all those around them. Examine what role your sector on the Community Wheel plays in sending healthy, supportive messages to children or negative messages that are glamorized and destructive.

We must work and partner to promote and support the mental health and safety of all of Florida’s children. Informed Families and our partners are working hard with boots on the ground in all 67 counties to support our children’s healthy development.

All people need a purpose. Children need something to participate in. Children need a supportive community where they are part of the solutions. My generation had the March of Dimes. We raised money to fund the research for the polio vaccine. Does today’s child feel like they have a voice…like they can make a difference?  They are hungry for these things, even if it seems like they’d rather be consumed by screens. I’m not saying this just because I believe it to be true, although I do; protective factors are well-backed by research. Protective Factors require adults to lean in and be present - not always distracted and overwhelmed with work.

Informed Families is your partner in delivering prevention programs and healthy messages to your students and their families through our four annual campaigns (Family Day, Red Ribbon Week, Lock Your Meds and Safe Homes Smart Parties).

Right now is your personal opportunity to do something about the opioid problem… here is how:

Lock Your Meds

This month, we are partnering with Publix Pharmacies across the State to promote the Lock Your Meds campaign. More people die each year from overdose than from car crashes or gun violence – and together, we can keep our kids safe from opioid addiction by empowering parents to secure their medication and safely dispose of unused or expired medication.

Please help. Each individual plays a role in this. Take the pledge, secure your medication and take inventory. For schools, we invite you to designate ambassadors at each school in your county, who will receive these free resources and ultimately save lives.


Topics: President's Message, holidays

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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