Every year our we gather with hundreds of members of our church to do a service project in our community. Traditionally this project has been service doing clean up of a certain area, maintaining community trails, painting, repairing at local parks or the zoo. There is always a great sense of satisfaction that comes when you can stand back and see the difference you have made!
This year our project is quite different. A few of our leaders met with a few of our community leaders, including Fresno Sheriff Margaret Mims, District Attorney, Elizabeth Egan and Fresno County Supervisor, Debbie Poochigian and asked them what they would like us to do for our project this year. They asked us to help raise awareness of the growing prescription drug abuse problem in our area. I understand that this actually was responsible for more teenagers deaths last year than car accidents. The area around our three closest high schools is where the problem is the one of worst in Fresno. People are breaking into homes to steal prescription drugs. Teenagers are swiping them out of medicine cabinets at their friends homes. A lot of people think that the best way to get rid of these drugs is by flushing them down the toilet when in fact it can pollute our local water sources. Not many people know that there are designated drop boxes that the local authorities run to collect unused medications to dispose of them properly and keep them out of the wrong hands.
Our leaders said we would be happy to help plan and organize an event to draw attention to the problem and educate the community. We have joined with many local organizations and groups from other churches to make this happen. There will be an informational meeting on Sunday April 27th.
The following Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights, we have invited anyone in the community who would like to help to meet to pass out flyers with information about PDA and a 5k Fun Run/Walk and Festival that will take place on Saturday may 3rd.
Participants in the run can dress as Super Heroes and the cost is only $15! If you're interested in the run/walk click on this link to register. The event is going to be timed and is being run by Sole to Soul Sports. After the run there will be a big festival with food trucks, bounce houses, and games for families. There will also be manned drop boxes at the Buchanan Stadium for people to drop off their expired or unused prescription drugs. I'm excited to participate in this event and have even been able to help plan the route for the run. I'd love to see any of my friends from the area out there and would encourage you to join us! More information can be found at the Facebook page. Everyone is welcome and the cause is truly close to home. Come join us!