In the midst of all things fall comes the most anticipated month at the National Runaway Safeline (NRS), National Runaway Prevention Month (NRPM). NRPM is a nationwide campaign that takes place throughout the month of November, established in November of 2002. We, along with our national and community partners, focus the country’s attention on NRPM.
Every year, we select a new theme that best helps us raise awareness for runaway and homeless youth. This year, we have come up with the theme “Friends Helping Friends. They Support. They Listen. They Care.”
This theme illustrates how youth are hearing about NRS. Friends are helping friends find the support they need on our hotline and our online services. We want this year to be the year with the most visibility by uniting agencies throughout the country. And we need your help.
We ask agencies, schools, and corporations from all over the country to participate in the #NRPM2016 call to action on social media. By participating in this campaign, you will be able to help raise awareness about runaway and homeless youth and also inform your followers about the stigma that revolves around these youth. Some people believe that runaways are “bad kids.” The truth is that runaways are often good kids running from bad situations. At times, we may not know the story behind why youth choose to run, but what we do know is that these youth are our friends. They are our neighbors, clients, students, and mentees. Most importantly, they are the future and have the potential to be great.
In a year, 1.6 to 2.8 million youth run away from home, these numbers are unacceptable.
There are plenty of different ways to get involved in #NRPM2016 this November! We have created four national events to unite the country in support of youth. Weekly events (two online events, two community events) will take place on Wednesdays in November:
- Wednesday, November 2nd: Facebook Profile Picture. Lately, the trend on Facebook is to add a filter to your profile picture to show that you support a certain cause and spread awareness. This year, we are creating a filter that we will share closer to the date in order for you, your organization and followers to be able to participate. Click here to update your profile picture!
- Wednesday, November 9th: ‘Wear Green’ Day. Most people have something green in their closet; whether it be a t-shirt, tie, pair of socks, etc. Coordinate a ‘wear green’ day with your friends, coworkers, students, and/or classmates on November 9th. This is a fun and easy way to get people to learn more about NRPM. For added impact, take a photo of your group wearing green and post it to social media with #NRPM2016. Tag NRS and we will share your photo!
- Wednesday, November 16th: National Candlelight Vigil. Youth service agencies, community groups, and individuals will be hosting candlelight vigils to show solidarity with youth in crisis. Host your own candlelight vigil in your neighborhood, at your school, your workplace, your place of worship, etc. This event is low cost and high impact.
- Wednesday, November 23rd: Selfie Sign Day. On this day, our website, 1800RUNAWAY.org will have a ‘Selfie Sign’ available for agencies to download. The sign will show you are supporting #NRPM2016, but we are also encouraging everyone to use the caption “This is how I have helped a friend…” and have everyone share a story of how they have helped a friend.
This year, you have the ability to help end the stigma and raise awareness for these youth. Join us by participating in one or all of these events! If you are planning on supporting us on any social media platforms, please use the hashtag ‘#NRPM2016’ and we may feature you on our social media pages!
If your agency is interested in becoming a partner please feel free to reach out to Andrea Medina, Community Engagement Specialist at AMedina@1800runaway.org.