Talbot Goes Purple is an awareness and educational prevention program that empowers our youth and our community to ‘Go Purple’ as a sign of taking a stand against substance abuse.
The initiative includes purple clubs in our middle and high schools through which students learn they do not need drugs or alcohol to meet life’s challenges. The purpose of the project is to promote the ‘new conversation’ – one that includes prescription drugs, alcohol, marijuana and e-cigarettes.
Talbot Goes Purple is an initiative of the Talbot County Sheriff’s Office and Tidewater Rotary, in partnership with Talbot County Public Schools and Mid-Shore Community Foundation.
Talbot Goes Purple is a component fund of the Mid-Shore Community Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization – donations to which are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.
History of Talbot Goes Purple
It started with Talbot County Sheriff Joe Gamble, whose talk with the Tidewater Rotary about the crisis of opioid use in Talbot County inspired club members to help combat the epidemic.
Since becoming sheriff, Gamble has worked hard to help stem the tide of substance abuse in the community and regularly hears from people who want to help but do not know how.
In late summer 2016, Gamble’s son told him about former NBA star Chris Herren. Gamble’s son and his college teammates had heard Herren speak and were moved by his words. Gamble began researching how he could bring Herren to Talbot County.
Enter Lucie Hughes, with Tidewater Rotary. After Gamble spoke to the club about the opioid crisis, Hughes approached him with an offer to help.
The club embraced the TGP initiative and focused their fundraising efforts, community service projects and club educational messaging around the effort.
In addition to having Herren speak, TGP involves implementing student purple clubs at Talbot County middle and high schools. The in-school clubs include teaching students to recognize the signs of abuse and ensuring students have access to important resources to prevent substance use. The goal is to empower teens, with education and community support, to prevent and stop substance abuse.