On Monday, January 21, the LiveFree! Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition of Pinellas County, an alliance that promotes awareness about the harmful effects of substance abuse among youth, young adults and adults, will participate in the 2013 Martin Luther King Day of Service.
The MLK Day of Service is a part of United We Serve, the President's national call to service initiative. It calls for Americans from all walks of life to work together to provide solutions to our most pressing national problems.
LiveFree! will organize youth and adult volunteers to distribute promotional items carrying an inspirational quote from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., as well as a substance abuse prevention message and information on treatment resources for those suffering from addiction, to community members celebrating along Dr. Martin Luther King Street South in St. Petersburg after the MLK Day Parade.
The team will cover 11 blocks of the MLK Street corridor (from 15th Avenue South to 26th Avenue South) wearing and distributing Be the Wall educational messages with the targeted underage drinking prevention messaging. Teams will be trained on how to scan street and vendor environments to ensure responsible festival and business practices as well as recruiting community members to get involved in coalition efforts throughout the year.
“LiveFree! is looking forward to meeting new people, spreading the word about alcohol and other drug prevention and being a community leader in our efforts to mobilize prevention,” said Jackie Griffin, executive director of LiveFree! Coalition. “While we encourage community members of all ages to participate year round, the Martin Luther King Day of Service is a tremendous event that provides a great opportunity to remind others to get involved.”
While interacting with community members, the LiveFree! ambassadors will be scanning the area looking at alcohol marketing – signs, billboards, etc. – and at convenience stores and street vendors who may be serving alcohol ensuring they are checking ID’s and using safe server techniques.
The LiveFree! Ambassadors will also take pictures and assist in developing a report detailing their findings from the environmental scans and community interaction. The information will be presented at community locations after the event and used to promote a continuing prevention messages.
“In addition to spreading a great message, LiveFree! team members will also conduct important research that could benefit our community for years to come,” added Griffin.