Schools and community groups across the United States will be “Going Purple” Jan. 11 through 14, to support Project Purple, an anti-substance abuse awareness program.
Project Purple is an initiative of the Herren Project, a nonprofit foundation established by Chris Herren, former NBA basketball player, motivational speaker, author, and sobriety advocate, who assists individuals and families struggling with addiction.
Project Purple’s goals are to create awareness and educate the public on the epidemic of substance abuse, while encouraging teens and people of all ages to make good choices and stand up to drugs and alcohol.
The program will also work to raise funds to provide effective treatment solutions for those who need assistance to overcome substance abuse issues.
The Project Purple concept was developed when Chris Herren, a former professional basketball player who struggled with substance abuse throughout his basketball career, spoke at a local high school and students in the front row were wearing purple shirts.
After Mr. Herren shared his story, one of the purple shirts raised her hand and stood up to speak. As snickering and laughter could be heard in the auditorium, the student said, “Thank you, Mr. Herren, for validating what we do. We are the sober students of this high school and each year we take a pledge to not use drugs or alcohol.”
Mr. Herren was captured by the courage it took to stand up and share the symbolism of the purple shirts, and he was inspired to make a difference amongst adolescents across the United States.
He recently spoke to the Ridgefield Community at Family University. Boys & Girls Club Keystoners also had the opportunity to hear him speak at the Regional Keystone Conference in Boston, Mass.
The Boys & Girls Club of Ridgefield will be partnering with the Ridgefield Prevention Council to hold Project Purple events Jan. 15 and 16. High school students will be encouraged to wear purple to school on Wednesday, Jan. 16, to show their support for the cause.
They are also welcome to join the Keystone Club on Tuesday, Jan. 15, at 7 p.m. for a special Project Purple presentation by members of the Prevention Council.
For more information, contact Kristin Goncalves, program director, at [email protected] or 203-438-8821, ext. 17.