HENDERSONVILLE, N.C. (March 21, 2019) – In partnership with HopeRx, students in Henderson County Public Schools’ four middle and six high schools are taking a public stand against substance abuse during the week-long “We Are Hope” campaign April 8-12, just before Spring Break. The campaign – and the students leading the substance abuse awareness events in their schools – were formally recognized Wednesday, March 20, by Henderson County Commissioners.
It’s the fifth year the schools’ student government organizations and leaders have organized the campaign with HopeRx, and community agencies are showing increasing support for the initiative. Since the first “We Are Hope” Week in 2015, the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office, Henderson County EMS, The Free Clinics, Blue Ridge Health, AdventHealth, and Champion Comfort Experts have increased their active participation in the annual campaigns.
As in years past, “We Are Hope” Week will include assemblies at each school featuring HopeRx-sponsored speakers who have either personally overcome substance abuse or seen firsthand the devastating effects of addiction. Daily awareness activities will stress the importance of remaining substance free, and high school leaders are collaborating with their feeder middle schools’ student leaders to lead activities for the younger students.
Throughout the campaign, students at each school will sign pledge banners and flags bearing the school’s mascot and a pledge to be substance free, sponsored by AdventHealth, Champion Comfort Experts, and Hendersonville Rotary Club.
Julie Huneycutt, director of HopeRx, said 2019 “We Are Hope” T-shirts will be printed for student leaders planning the campaigns at their schools, and #WeAreHope stickers will be provided for all students who sign a banner or flag to remain substance free. Annually requested by student leaders, white ribbons will be provided for students to tie around trees, bannisters, and throughout school campuses to represent the purity of the pledge.
“This year, Superintendent Bo Caldwell has declared Wednesday, April 10, ‘White-out Wednesday’ during We Are Hope Week. Students and faculty are encouraged to wear white showing support to remain clean and substance free,” Huneycutt said. “Area businesses and organizations are invited to join with the schools in wearing white and to share their pics on social media with the hashtags #WeAreHope and #WhiteOutWednesday,” she said.
Students will sign the banners and flags throughout the week of April 8-12, and “We Are Hope” Week will culminate at 12 p.m. Friday, April 12, when the six high school banners will be hung from the Henderson County Historic Courthouse pillars, and the four middle school flags will be planted in the ground around the Courthouse.
HopeRx is Henderson County’s coalition, formed through the Partnership for Health, designed to unite community leaders, parents, educators, students, healthcare providers, EMS workers and volunteers, law enforcement, judicial system, civic organizations and faith-based groups to collaboratively address issues of substance abuse, including prescription drugs, other illicit drugs, underage drinking and use of vaping products.