NEWBERRY — The Newberry County Coalition on Underage Drinking is taking a unique approach to increase awareness among area residents of the need to “grow strong communities” that can stand united in opposing underage drinking and driving.
Using the theme “Cultivating CommUnity,” the Coalition has placed baskets with free packets of vegetable and flower seeds at locations throughout the county.
“Thanks to a partnership with Lowe’s of Newberry and many local businesses and agencies, the Coalition will be making thousands of free vegetable and flower seed packets available,” said Coalition Co-Chair Michelle Long. “We hope that area residents will stop by one of the many locations and select up to eight free seed packets of their choice.”
According to Master Deputy Sherri Scott of the Newberry County Sheriff’s Office, who is also co-chair of the Coalition, “The baskets contain specially prepared bags to collect your seed packets. The bags have a message from the Coalition inviting you to help us “Cultivate CommUnity” by coming together to encourage a new attitude about underage drinking. We hope that as you collect your seed packets, you will read the information on the back of the bag and on an easel placed beside of the baskets.”
According to information in the U.S. Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Prevent and Reduce Underage Drinking, a community that opposes underage drinking can help change how people think and act.
“Together, our community can support teen decisions not to drink. It’s time to sow the seeds of a community united against underage drinking,” said Long.
Coalition Coordinator Terecia Wilson stated, “Drinking alcohol can harm the growing body and brain. Underage drinking is a major cause of death among young people. Alcohol robs our youth of opportunities to grow to their fullest potential. Therefore, it’s important for young people to grow up alcohol-free. It takes every adult in our community to encourage young people not to drink alcohol. It takes you.”
A variety of vegetable and flower seeds have been donated by Lowe’s of Newberry for use in the project. “There’s everything from pumpkin seeds to corn on the cob, green beans, peppers, onions, tomatoes and all types of flowers,” said Scott. “The Coalition sincerely appreciates Lowe’s generosity for this project.”
Area residents can pick up the free seed packets, as long as supplies last, at the following locations: Little Mountain Unlimited, Lowe’s of Newberry, Newberry County Chamber of Commerce, Newberry County Department of Social Services, Peak Pharmacy, Piggly Wiggly of Whitmire, Prosperity Drug Company, TD Bank (Newberry).