MHA celebrates Red Ribbon Week
Residents, employees and children from the Morristown Housing Authority’s Childcare Center gathered to release red balloons in honor of Red Ribbon Week.
A pause in the Monday morning showers was just enough time for 50 red balloons to take flight as part of a ceremonial release by the Morristown Housing Authority.
The MHA held a ceremonial walk with residents and a balloon release with the children of the authority’s Childcare and Early Learning Center to kick off Red Ribbon Week.
Red Ribbon Week (held Oct. 23-31) is one of the oldest and largest drug prevention programs in the nation.
MHA Resident Activities Coordinator Whitney Edwards said the release was part of a week-long activities effort to raise awareness and take a stand against drugs.
“This was something we used to do every year but got away from. We brought it back this year because we felt it was important to teach the children who live here and other residents the dangers of drug use,” Edwards said.
Throughout the week the housing authority will hold an art contest for kids, a resident door decorating contest and other activities including special prizes for children who trick or treat and include a red ribbon with their costume.
The Red Ribbon campaign was started by the National Family Partnership after drug traffickers in Mexico City tortured and murdered DEA agent Kiki Camarena in 1985. Red Ribbons were used as a display symbol of intolerance towards the use of drugs.
Edwards said the authority will also use Red Ribbon Week to show appreciation to local law enforcement and other emergency responders.
“There aren’t as many programs like D.A.R.E (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) and things in schools or in the community anymore so we thought it’s important to spread out the message to the children and the community,” Edwards said.
Edwards said residents can find out more about the planned week events by calling 423-586-5115.
Aside from Red Ribbon Week, the housing authority plans multiple activities each week for residents to participate in.
Edwards said she tries to find activities that can be interesting, fun and educational all at the same time, like monthly senior trips and children’s trip to the Hands On Museum in Johnson City earlier in the month.
For more information about Red Ribbon Week visit www.redribbon.org.
-By Chris Phipps, Tribune Staff Writer