GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Next week marks what’s known as Red Ribbon week, which is all about spreading awareness about the dangers of drug abuse.
Wedgwood Christian Services’ Teen Charge Program is doing its part by holding a writing contest for West Michigan middle and high school students. An original poem, story, song, rap, essay or personal narrative can be submitted relating to the theme, “The best me is drug free.”
Gina Boscarino, a group specialist at Wedgwood, says Red Ribbon Week is a “celebration of living a drug-free lifestyle” and has been around since around the 1980s.
“Originally, it was done to honor Enrique Camarena, who was a United States Drug Enforcement officer who lost his life to drug traffickers and people started wearing red ribbons to honor him and his sacrifice,” said Boscarino. “Then it turned into a yearly celebration where kids make a commitment to live drug free and celebrate everything that that means.”
Teen Charge aims to get local teens involved in community service, events and thinking about issues like drug abuse, healthy relationships and mental health. The winner of the writing contest will get their writing piece published on the Teen Charge blog.
“We’ve gotten essays, we’ve gotten personal stories, we’ve received a few fictional stories and I’ve been surprised by the amount of poetry. A lot of kids write poetry and I just think that is really cool,” said Boscarino.
Winners can also win t-shirts, sunglasses, gift cards and other goodies.
To enter a submission, writers must email them to email@example.com. Entries will be accepted until Oct. 23 by 11:59 p.m.