OS, Inc. News
As we get into the school year and back into action planning Operation Snowball wants to support you as much as we can in your work through virtual, in person and blended programming. We have spent countless hours planning, creating, and implementing ways to assist with your team.

Below you will find the OS, Inc. fall training calendar, information on our upcoming Virtual 5K and OS/CGTI Prevention Track within the IABH Conference, articles, and resources that OS Youth Advocates have created, as well as our next monthly challenge where you will see us inviting the community to participate in!

We are so excited to welcome you back for unique and innovative Snowball programming this 2020-2021 school year! Contact Riley Blythe at riley@ilabh.org with any specific Chapter programming questions.
Fall 2020 OS, Inc. Trainings
Thank You!
OS, Inc. had the pleasure of spending our afternoon with Snowball youth & adults, CGTI volunteer staff and prevention specialist while we hosted our first fall 2020 training on Effective Virtual Facilitation. A big thank you to our trainer, Jeremy Butler, for sharing tips and tricks, resources and laughs with our group.
OS Virtual 5K
"Together but six feet apart"
Walk or run your 5K on Saturday, October 10 between 7:00AM and 12:00PM (CST) to support youth prevention, leadership, and action plans that create a healthier community!

What is a Virtual Race?
A virtual race is a race that can be completed by running, jogging, walking, or biking from any location you choose. You complete it at your own pace and time it yourself.
How It Works
  • Register for your spot.
  • Complete the race on Saturday, October 10 between 7:00AM and 12:00PM CST.
  • Track your distance and finish time with any fitness device or app.
  • This race is based on the honor system and we ask that you share your results with us on social media, but there is no formal submission process for your time and distance.
  • If you are interested in registering a group or Chapter, please reach out to Riley Blythe at riley@ilabh.org

Share Your Race With Us!
We would love to hear about your race experience. Join our Virtual Race Facebook event page and share your photos and connect with fellow participants! Also, share your photos on social media by using #OSvirtual5K 

Operation Snowball will be going live during the 5K and will welcome 5K participants to join the live feed too!
Operation Snowball, Inc. wants to thank our incredible community partners that are sponsoring the Virtual 5K

Champion Level Sponsor
Aspen & Bronx
M&P Presentations
Jeffrey Collord
Project Oz
Celtic Cartage
Southern Illinois Substance Abuse Alliance
John Baker
Hyland Family Foundation
Mackenzie Grace Photography

Medalist Level Sponsor
Jake Levinson
Luzietti & Raney
September Monthly Challenge
Our Youth Advocates on the OS Board of Directors have been busy brainstorming all summer to ensure the 2020-2021 school year is full of innovative programming and new ways to our community to stay connected.
Spooky Surprise Basket
Welcome to the wonderful world of Operation Snowball Spooky Surprise Basket, the October monthly challenge.

To start a "Spooky Surprise" chain reaction, one neighbor secretly leaves a small basket, instructions and a sign at their doorstep. The lucky person is asked to post the sign near the door, alerting others they have already received a basket. That way, new recruits won't leave a duplicate care package on the doorstep. In turn, the neighbor is asked to surprise two other households, chain reaction. Day by day, the signs continue to grow. Soon, the entire neighborhood is sporting signs, and everyone is guessing. Who surprised who?

If you get Snowballed remember to take a picture and tag us on Facebook or Instagram, we want to see how far and wide this can go!
Better Together: CGTI & Snowball Series
Youth Advocates on the OS Board have been spending the past few months working hard writing articles, creating resources, and engaging our snowball community online.
Please see below!
Back to School in a Pandemic
Lyann Tam
Libertyville, IL
With the pandemic everyone’s school experience is changing in some way at every level. This year my school decided to be entirely online. E-school is definitely a huge change that honestly isn’t all bad. There are many aspects I enjoy but also many that I wish were different. 
First off this is my senior year of high school, the year with the countless traditions and the biggest sense of pride and accomplishment, but all the excitement seemed to die out when we could no longer go to school in person. Many traditions, dances, and events were canceled. I still don’t know if it has hit me that this is actually my final year of high school. Along with the sense of denial, staying at home all day in one room has made this whole situation seem dream-like. Time is distorted as I don't move outside of a 10-foot radius for hours on end and the hours and days easily blend together.
One of the hardest aspects of it all is motivation and time management. While staring at a screen it is so easy to zone out and not listen to lectures or videos. And with no one around to hold me accountable I find myself on my phone or doodling in a notebook when I would usually be taking notes or getting ahead on homework. Time management, which has always been hard in high school, has now become almost impossible as I struggle to find a good routine. There is no clear break or separation between school and home and I don’t know when to give myself breaks or when to start work. Personally I believe that as students we have trained our brains that when we are physically at the school building it is time to turn on “school mode” and at home we can turn on “home mode” and without the situation my brain is confused and going into overdrive. The actual environment has played a huge role in our education and without that it is hard to adjust and learn at the same capacity. Every day I sit at the same desk for a six hour school day and four-five hours of homework followed by filling my extra time with college applications and studying for standardized tests. Managing this all while having to find time to do simple necessities like eating and taking care of my pets. 
The isolation of e-school is almost unbearable at times. There is no time to have side conversations, talk to people at lunch or in the halls during passing periods. Without that social release I have felt lonely and depressed. I find it hard to find time to just go outside and separate myself from technology. This is why I am very grateful to be able to have cross country practice after school everyday. Though sports have completely changed, just the ability to have a place to go after school where I can actually be with people (six feet apart and with a mask) has made all the difference. But I know that not all students have such an opportunity and it's easy to get stuck in a loop of depression within the isolation. 
With all of these negative aspects (the list could go on and on) adapting to e-school seems impossible but it is so important that we take a step back and focus on the positive. Without seeing the positives school and life in general seems pointless. One major positive aspect is that this situation has made all of us stronger and more resilient. Yes school is really hard right now but the simple fact that we are able to get up and attend class everyday in such a situation deserves a huge round of applause. We have all learned and grown in some way and that is amazing. Another thing that I enjoy is my new block schedule. Instead of having eight classes a day I only have four extended classes. It has been a fun switch as classes don’t seem rushed and I have something to look forward to for the next day. I have also been lucky enough to find time for self-care and self-reflection. With mental health all around the world becoming a bigger topic of conversation I have really started to focus on finding ways to improve mine. Whether this be forcing myself to take breaks, or finding ways to stay connected to friends and family, or just giving myself more leniency on days that are just harder than the rest, all of these small changes have helped me tremendously. Focusing on mental health has also helped me in other ways. Opening up the discussion in my personal life and through school has provided a way to connect with my friends, teammates, and peers who I would never have otherwise been able to talk to. 
I think the most important thing about going back to school in a pandemic is finding little things that make you happy each day and savor those moments. It has certainly been an extremely hard transition but there are still so many beautiful moments and memories that can be made, even in a global pandemic.
The Red Ribbon Week Toolkit features ideas for activities, posts and verbiage and provides resources and pre-made content for social media, drug-free pledges and more. The hyperlinks in the toolkit will give you access to this content and can be printed as well. This is all created to help take your action plan to the next level, while taking a little weight off the adult's shoulders - we can't imagine how hard this transition to a virtual world has been for you. We've made these toolkits with all stages of programming in mind and have included pre-made social content to be used as well. We are currently in the process of making additional toolkits, but wanted to provide the first one for Red Ribbon Week as October is here.
We will actively be posting on social media throughout Red Ribbon Week and we encourage you to share too. We hope you find it useful! Please let us know if there is anything additional you need to make your Red Ribbon Week a success. We would also love your feedback on the toolkit so we can continue to enhance it and work on the others, so our support to our teams can be as beneficial as possible.
Social Justice, Race and the Intersection of Prevention

Dr. Wanda Boone
The Strategic Prevention Framework is used to create and monitor change. The framework includes assessment, capacity building, planning, implementation, evaluation, sustainability and cultural competence.
Prevention Champions of Change that use the framework are uniquely positioned to respond to racism and social justice inequities. Cultural competence involves the ability of an individual or organization to understand and interact effectively with people who have different values, lifestyles, and traditions based on their distinctive heritage and social relationships. To elevate cultural competency within prevention plans 1. Become aware of personal implicit bias: judging people based on perceived ability, gender, sexuality, class, skin tone, race, ethnicity, religion and/or age. 2. Acknowledge challenges to health and well-being experienced by African Americans. 3. Include community members to develop action plans. Continue reading here.
For inquiries and scheduling requests please contact Riley Blythe
riley@ilabh.org | 217.528.7335 ext. 27
K-12 Toolkit for
Mental Health Promotion
and Suicide Prevention
The K-12 Toolkit for Mental Health Promotion and Suicide Prevention was created by the Health Care Alliance for Response to Adolescent Depression (HEARD) in 2013 (updated in 2017), in response to a need for schools to promote student mental health and well-being, to prevent suicide and, in particular, how to respond after a suicide loss. 

The toolkit convenes national best practices from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the National Center for School Mental Health (NCSMH), and several other organizations. 
How to Get Help
If you or someone you know is in a suicidal crisis, call or text a suicide hotline (toll free, 24 hours/day, 7 days/week):
  • Text HELLO to 741741 to connect with someone
  • Call SAMHSA’s National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
  • Call 1-800-SUICIDE (784-2433)
  • Call 1-800-799-4TTY (4889) for hearing & speech impaired
  • Call 1-866-488-7386 for the Trevor Project, a suicide hotline for LGBTQ youth
MISSION STATEMENT: Through the development of leadership skills, Operation Snowball shall be a youth and adult partnership, providing awareness and prevention of alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use, while encouraging healthy decision-making in an active community of caring.
Operation Snowball, Inc.

937 South 2nd Street | Springfield, IL 62704
217.528.7335 ext. 27