The Transylvania Times -

C.A.R.E. Coalition Initiates 'Plant The Promise' Program

 

October 17, 2016



It has been a busy autumn for the C.A.R.E. Coalition, which has been creating momentum for a healthy, vibrant, drug-free Transylvania County with a focus on local youth.

C.A.R.E. hosted a community training about the benefits of youth mentoring on Sept. 27. After a welcome from Transyl-vania County Sheriff David Mahoney, keynote speaker Robin Myer, of WNC Big Brothers Big Sisters, explained how having a mentor is a powerful asset for young people to be successful. Long-term relationships with a caring adult can reduce negative influences that put young people at risk for unhealthy choices. Children with mentors demonstrate an improvement in academic performance, self-esteem and social skills.

The three-hour training showcased existing local mentoring programs with a panel of representatives from Rise & Shine Freedom School, The Cindy Platt Boys & Girls Club of Tran-sylvania County, Rosenwald Community Youth Center, Young Life, Brevard Com-munity Church, El Centro Hispano and Transylvania County Sheriff’s Depart-ment. The panel presented their programs and discussed ideas to improve local mentorship opportunities for young people.

This training was a great opportunity to share knowledge and work together to enhance existing mentor programs through collaboration and collective problem solving. These organizations welcome new, dedicated mentors to connect with young people, model valuable social skills and address potential problems. Recruit-ment and training for more youth mentors will be facilitated by the C.A.R.E. Coalition.

Each local youth program will be invited to send youth delegates to a Transylvania County Youth Leadership Summit this winter, where youth will meet together to create a countywide action plan for a better environment for youth.

C.A.R.E. is also supporting school resource officers and clubs in celebrating Red Ribbon Week during the last week of October as students pledge to be drug free. Local schools will be participating in “Plant the Promise” this year, which encourages students to plant red tulip bulbs to symbolize their commitment to leading a drug-free lifestyle. These tulips will bloom in springtime as a reminder to students, educators and parents of this pledge and will encourage open discussion about the harms of substance abuse.

Red Ribbon Week is observed annually all over the U.S. in memory of Enrique Camarena, a DEA agent killed by drug traffickers. The campaign honors Camarena and countless others who have lost their lives to drugs, alcohol and the violence stemming from substance abuse.

Transylvania County’s next Drug Take-Back event will be held on Saturday, Oct. 22, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Metcalf Pharmacy. Volunteers from C.A.R.E. and the community will join Transylvania Narcotics Taskforce (TNTF) as they host this semi-annual event.

Almost one-third of Transylvania County students in sixth through 12th grade reported that it was “easy” to access prescription medications that were not prescribed to them. Safe storage of prescription medications and proper disposal of unused and expired medications are very effective ways to reduce access and promote a drug-free lifestyle.

C.A.R.E. asks local citizens to drop off all expired and unused medications at this Drug Take-Back event for safe disposal. Last year, local law enforcement collected 378 pounds of unused medications. Com-munity members can also leave medications in secure boxes at the Transylvania County Public Safety Building or the Brevard Police Department for proper disposal 24/7 with no questions asked.

At home, make sure to keep all medications securely locked up to make sure that others cannot access them. Thank you for helping C.A.R.E. make Transylvania County more healthy and vibrant.

Community members are always invited to get involved by attending C.A.R.E. Coalition meetings. The next meeting be held Wednesday, Nov. 9, at 1 p.m. in the conference room of the Community Services Building at 98 E. Morgan St. in downtown Brevard. For more information on C.A.R.E., visit http://www.transylvaniacare.org.

 
 

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