October 2021
Fall is here and that means Snowball events are in full swing! Here at Operation Snowball, Inc. we are thrilled to welcome so many teams back to in-person programming and would love to visit, train, or participate in any of your upcoming events.

We also are looking to connect with each Snowball team for a quick 30-minute call. We have created a survey for you that should take no longer than a couple minutes to complete. The survey is a way to gather your event dates, program needs, and how we can be a resource to you. The other link is a doodle poll to schedule those meeting times with each team. We cannot wait to showcase your events, prevention efforts, and student leaders!

Please click each button below to complete a short survey.
Operation Snowball Virtual 5K
Fun Run/Walk
This Saturday, October 16 is Operation Snowball, Inc. Virtual 5K event! We are excited to share that we have over 75 participants and seven sponsors for this year's 5K.

Operation Snowball will be going live on their social media handles and share photos throughout the day of attendees.

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 16 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 there is no formal submission process for your time and distance.
  • If you are interested in registering a group or Team, please reach out to Riley.

If you missed registration and still want to participate, you can click the link below.
Aspen & Bronx
M&P Presentations LLC
Project Oz
Third Horizon Strategies
Hyland Family Foundation
The DeLoss Family
The Wells Family
National Bullying Prevention Month Campaign
The entire month of October is National Bullying Prevention Month. We have released a National Bullying Prevention Toolkit which serves as a manual to guide Action Teams and Individuals through the steps of bringing awareness and prevention to your local schools, organizations and communities.
Red Ribbon Week Campaign
October 23 - 31
The Red Ribbon Campaign is the oldest and largest drug prevention program in the nation, reaching millions of young people during Red Ribbon Week, October 23-31 each year. The mission of the campaign is to present a unified and visible commitment towards the creation of a drug-free America.

Your team can plan a Red Ribbon celebration or you can celebrate individually. We have pulled together our resources to create a toolkit for you and your team to utilize during the planning phase of this campaign. We look forward to seeing how your community chooses to engage this year!
Take Back Day
October 23, 2021
Unused medications can find their way into the hands of people for whom they weren’t prescribed. The DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day events provide an opportunity for Americans to prevent drug addiction and overdose deaths by offering a safe, convenient, and responsible way to dispose of unused or expired prescription drugs.
We Want to Hear From You!
Operation Snowball, Inc. wants to continue to highlight OS Teams each month in our newsletter. Please continue to share with us the amazing work that you are doing in your schools and communities.

This may mean sharing photos of your events or weekly meetings, graphics and videos your group has created for your prevention programming, maybe it is a write-up from one of your students reflecting on a project you all completed. In other words, we want to celebrate YOU!

Be proud of all you have accomplished!
Amplifying Youth Voices

Youth Advocates on the OS Board of Directors have been spending the past few months working hard writing articles, creating resources, and engaging our snowball community online.

Choosing Connection Over Isolation
Abby Manak
Downers Grove, IL
Isolated: far away from other places, buildings, or people; remote. Isolation is a scary word and it’s a word the whole Earth has come to know. Everyone knows the feeling of isolation from social distancing, online school/work, and cancelled events. As some restrictions are being lifted, we can be surrounded by loved ones, friends, and acquaintances once again. Being surrounded can help us feel connected, better our mental health, and bring us exciting experiences with those around us. One of the best feelings in the world is being surrounded by those who love you and make you feel seen. If we are surrounded by those who love us, why can we still struggle to feel connected? Why can we be surrounded and feel so alone?
I started college two months ago and I fell in love with the campus, independence, and the people. During my university’s welcome week, surprisingly, I found a group of friends right away. I found a youth group on campus and an intramural volleyball team – both things that bring me joy and a sense of belonging. Each day, I was constantly surrounded by people who cared for me and made me feel seen. The past two months have also been the most challenging of my life. I started college classes, learned to manage my time, and struggled with the loss of a loved one. When my aunt passed away, I realized how many things were out of my control. I started to feel depressed, anxious, and I didn’t want to be surrounded with the people I loved seeing every day. I called my mom and told her that I felt like a hermit crab, never wanting to come out of my shell and see the day. I would call my best friend, who attends a university in Florida, and wish that I could hug her in-person. When I knew I couldn’t see my mom or my best friend, I began to slowly let people into my life on campus. I shared my struggles with friends and the people in my youth group. I slowly began to realize that I wasn’t alone. Even though I felt alone and isolated, I had all these people loving and caring for me. While this didn’t take away the grief of losing my aunt, it did lessen the pain and it brought me into connection with those around me. I realized that what you feel isn’t always the truth. I felt so isolated for weeks when I was surrounded by love and support. That love and support was available the whole time, I just had to choose to make the connection and be vulnerable.

To my family, friends, and peers, it is no secret that I have struggled with depression and anxiety. I have spoken a monologue at a Snowball retreat, written a newsletter about the pressure of success, and have opened my story to those I have met. At college, I realized that mental health is fluid, it is ever-changing. It is a hard reality, but depression and anxiety will never fully go away. But that doesn’t mean that the struggle will always be present. Your feelings are always valid but that doesn’t mean that they should control the way you live your life. Your truth is not what your mental health says about you. We, as humans, are meant to be in relation and connection with others. Connecting with others is an opportunity to build one another up and see past the mental health that can consume us. Choose to connect with others, only then, will you find the truth of love and support that surround you.
Coming Soon ...
Our OS Youth Advocates have been putting their heads together, planning, prepping and are so excited to launch their new project, a Podcast!

They wanted to create this podcast to serve as an avenue to discuss topics they feel are important to youth, such as post high school plans, test anxiety, learning how to say no to your peers, and many other things.

Please tune in at the end of the month as we release our first pilot episode, look into the future of the Podcast and get to know the hosts of the show.
Cebrin Goodman Teen Institute
2022 Mid-Year Conference
Please save the date for the upcoming Cebrin Goodman Teen Institute (CGTI) 2022 Mid-Year Conference that is held in collaboration with Operation Snowball, Inc.

Dates: January 14 - 16, 2022
Location: Marriott Hotel & Conference Center in Normal, IL
Registration Fee: $250/person
  • An additional fee of $125 for those who request a single room.
  • Please note we will not be assigning random roommates.
  • If you do not have a roommate, you will need to select the single room add-on option.

Applications will be released very soon! If you have any questions, please contact Ashley Webb, VP of Programs, at [email protected].
Operation Snowball: Did You Know?
Operation Snowball, Inc. offers a handful of incredible benefits for their members, one being the ability to create and present a specific training for your students. The Schaumburg High School OS team is rebuilding their group of leaders and reached out to OS, Inc. for support in this new endeavor. Every month OS, Inc. is meeting with this team to continue building their skillset, and preparing them for their Spring event.

All you need to do is reach out to Riley Cleary, Prevention Program Manager, and we would love to support your programming in any way we can!
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: Operation Snowball is an international youth program that empowers student leaders through prevention education, community advocacy, and leadership development to a create positive impact.
Operation Snowball, Inc.

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