McDuffie County Partners For Success continued an annual tradition last week: combining a Halloween carnival with an effort to help kids make better decisions.
"Everything we do has a deeper purpose, a deeper meaning and message," said PFS Executive Director Miriam Smith. "In this case, we certainly wanted people to enjoy the carnival, but we also wanted to highlight the importance of not choosing drugs or alcohol and staying away from negative infl uences."
Dozens of local residents - several of them in costumes - gathered at the agency's offi ce on White Oak Road last Thursday to get their faces painted, enjoy refreshments, wrap mummies, play games and other activities.
The event culminated in a release of red balloons in a show of community solidarity against drug abuse as part of Red Ribbon week. Started in 1988, Red Ribbon week focuses on helping keep students off drugs.
Today, an estimated 80 million people participate in Red Ribbon events annually. Smith said efforts like the carnival and balloon release are just part of the organization's efforts throughout the year. As the Family Connection and Communities in Schools site for McDuffie County, Partners For Success serves as the collaborative for the community, organizing referrals from all organizations in the county to help fulfill needs that would support and encourage the development of healthy, stable families.
"We work with some of the most challenged families in McDuffie County, and we really make a difference in their worlds," Smith said. "We are in their homes, actively participating in their lives and helping them make better decisions."