September 2021
2021 has brought a lot of change to not only your school or program, but also for Operation Snowball, Inc. We made some huge programmatic changes at the beginning of the year to increase our reach and provide more resources at a reduced costs.

If you missed our rebrand in January, we encourage you to click the
rebrand video button below to catch up with all the changes.

Over the last few weeks, we have received many questions about accreditation and we thought this would be a good reminder that there is no longer an accreditation fee and we have moved towards a membership structure. If you are unsure if you have completed the team membership form, please contact our Program Coordinator and we can confirm your enrollment.

Beginning October 1, 2021, we will only be sending communication out to those who have renewed their membership with Operation Snowball, Inc. Those who have not are unable to hold programming utilizing Operation Snowball's name or program material.

Next week, you will hear from our Program Coordinator to schedule a 15-30 minute meeting. It is our hope that we can learn about your team, hear your needs, provide support, gather information about your Snowball events, and provide you with updates on this year's programming.
Upcoming OS, Inc. Trainings
Join us this Thursday for our third Suicide Prevention Month training!
This training is free and open to all.
Join Us for the Annual Operation Snowball Virtual 5K Fun Run/Walk
Register to participate in our 2nd annual Virtual 5K. Walk or run your 5K on Saturday, October 16 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 and choose if you'd like the swag. 
  • 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 we ask that you share your results with us on social media, but there is no formal submission process for your time and distance.
  • We will send out race items (shirts & bibs number) the week of the race. Shirts will arrive by 5K day!
  • If you are interested in registering a group or Team, please reach out to Riley.
Suicide Prevention Month Campaign
The entire month of September is Suicide Prevention Month. We have launched our statewide activities for Suicide Prevention Month, as well as released a Suicide Awareness & Prevention Toolkit which serves as a manual to guide Action Teams and Individuals through the steps of bringing suicide awareness and prevention to your local schools, organizations and communities.

If you were unable to attend one of the three trainings and would like the recording, please let us know.
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 its 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!
Youth Prevention
Did you want to attend the Focus Youth Gambling Prevention Info Session but couldn’t? 

No worries! Click here for the recorded version of the info session for you to watch at your leisure. Watch this video to learn more about Focus and new programming opportunities this year. 

Focus is a statewide youth prevention program that aims to prevent youth gambling and create positive change in communities through student advocacy, youth leadership development, and gambling prevention campaigns. 

If you have any questions or want more information about getting involved today, please contact Sarah Martin, Prevention Program Coordinator, at
Advocacy in Illinois
We are thrilled to share that Governor Pritzker signed two bills protecting children from starting tobacco use, focusing on marketing specifications and purchasing requirements. You can read more about these two new bills here and here.

Illinois Association of Behavioral Health CEO, Jud DeLoss, stated, “as Illinois’ leading provider of behavioral health care and prevention programs, we are grateful for the hard work of Senators Julie Morrison and Melinda Bush as Chief Sponsors of these important pieces of legislation as well as the work of the House Sponsors, Representatives Bob Morgan and Jamie Andrade, Jr., without whose work the bills would not have passed. And we appreciate Governor Pritzker’s signing the bills into law."

Illinois Students Can Soon Take 5 Days Off for Mental Health

"Starting in January, Illinois students ages 7-17 can take up to five mental or behavioral health days off from school, without having to provide a doctor’s note.

Under the new law, recently signed by Gov. J.B. Pritzker, students may be referred to school staff for professional help after their second mental health day.

“It was pretty clear with the pandemic, the amount of pressure that was put upon our student population was showing very identifiable suicide rates amongst our children nationwide,” said state Sen. Robert Martwick, a democrat who represents parts of Chicago’s Northwest Side and a sponsor of this bill. “This [bill] was one way of letting students know that by removing that stigma that it was OK for them to address their mental health and seek the help that they need.'"

Click here to read more!

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