"Grandma, what did you do with my red pinwheel?" Teddy asked, nearly in tears.
Teddy is the son of a mother who is in active recovery from substance use and lives with his grandmother, Janice. "He's been excited about the Red Ribbon Campaign since October 2017. When he brought home the red pinwheel and told me he made a commitment to live a drug-free life, I cried. His mother was in a treatment center at the time and I didn't know what to do."
Janice continued, "Teddy proudly displayed the red pinwheel in his Halloween pumpkin- I'm glad I saved the pinwheel when I threw away the pumpkin!" Over the course of the year, he kept moving the red pinwheel to the Thanksgiving table display and then to the Christmas tree. In December 2018, two red pinwheels decorated the tree. "Teddy is so excited to live a drug-free life and wants others to know who are experiencing addiction that there is hope in recovery. He has witness it."
Thanks to donors like you, Jackson County United Way has boots on the ground in the community, listening to and speaking with community members about what it’s really like to live in our county that has been hit hard by heroin and other opioids and what efforts could be made to prevent substance use from beginning.
Over the last two years, United Way has lead a County-wide celebration of Red Ribbon Week and promotion of our community being a drug-free county. This all started because in a Community Conversation in 2016, a Purdue Extension Jackson County 4-H Junior Leader, Erica Lee, shared,
"Drug-Free, Red Ribbon Week should be supported by the whole community showing that adults are behind this."
When all of us come together to tackle the opioid epidemic, we fight for Teddy and his grandma and mom. When we bring your donor dollars together with the power of volunteer leadership, we win by Living United. In Janice's words, “when the volunteer from United Way came to listen to me and my neighbors about our struggles, she was real. It was the first time I've ever really felt listened to. I never knew my experience would matter to anyone.”
Donate today to help community members like Teddy live united against opioids.