There is a way you can help support the local D.A.R.E. program in its quest to help steer youngsters away from drugs, violence and bullying.
Blue D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) bins are set up at six locations in Hood County, ready to receive your donations of used gently used clothing (including jackets, sweaters, shoes, hats and belts) along with backpacks, purses, soft toys, linens and towels.
Dee Dee Brown, a corporal with the Hood County Sheriff’s Office who gives the D.A.R.E. presentations in Tolar and Lipan schools from pre-kindergarten through the seventh grade, said the donations earn money for the program through its connection with the Dallas-based World Wear Project.
World Wear Project picks up the clothing and recycles it, then pays D.A.R.E. for the items, Brown said.
D.A.R.E., which is used in 49 countries, asks questions of the young students, and teaches them facts about staying healthy and the effects of using illegal drugs “so they know what these things do to their bodies and their minds,” Brown said, noting that D.A.R.E. is scientifically based drug education and is marking its 30th anniversary this year, Brown noted. It began in California in 1983.
“The funds that we raise help with providing information to school students about the dangers of drug abuse and violence. It provides teaching material, T-shirts for graduates and awards given when the program has been completed.
Locations for the bins in Granbury are at the Hood County Library, 222 N. Travis St. and the Hood County Sheriff’s Office, 400 Deputy Larry Miller Drive.
Other clothing bin locations in the county are Lipan High School, 211 N. Kickapoo St.; Tolar Elementary School gymnasium, 401 E. 7th St.; Pecan Plantation, at the golf course driving range (beside the paper recycling bins); and Saddle Bags Barbeque & Burgers, 3636 Highway 377 West. The Hood County Justice Center, 1200 W. Pearl St. in Granbury, and Tolar Elementary both have tennis shoe bins benefitting D.A.R.E.
“Things that cannot be worn or sold are made into rags,” said Brown, who has been involved in D.A.R.E. for 13 of her 18 years in law enforcement. “A lot of churches do this as fundraisers.”
Brown said that the bins have been in place for about a year and a half, funding operating expenses for D.A.R.E.
“This lets us do extra,” Brown explained. “Plus, it helps us pay for continuing education for myself. I would like to thank the Hood County residents for their donations and ask that they continue to donate and support the program.
“It helps the kids of Hood County, and that’s what it’s all about – giving them alternatives and safe choices.”
Brown is stationed at the Justice Center Monday through Thursday, and uses Friday for D.A.R.E. presentations that are multimedia including video and power points.
To make arrangements for donations of large amounts of clothing, Brown can be reached by calling the non-emergency number at the Sheriff’s Office at 817-579-3307.
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