In Tulsa County, the devastating impact of drunk driving is all too real. To raise awareness about this issue, the Tulsa Health Department Regional Prevention Coordinator Program (RPC) and the Stop DUI Task Force have partnered with the annual Tree of Life holiday display at Woodland Hills Mall. This year, community members are invited to share a photo of their loved ones lost due to a drunk driving incident to be included on the ornaments for the Tree of Life.
“It is important to remember that behind every statistic is a person,” said Kandice Lawson, Prevention Specialist at the Tulsa Health Department. “By giving a face to the lives lost due to drunk driving, we can better understand the true impact that alcohol abuse has in our community.”
Since its inception in 2014, the Tree of Life has served as a poignant reminder of the families in Tulsa County who are missing a loved one during the winter holiday season due to a drunk driving accident. The tree features wrapped gifts as a symbolic reminder of the gifts that won’t be opened this year due to a family member who is no longer here. The number of gifts corresponds to the number of lives lost in Tulsa County due to drunk driving.
Visitors to Woodland Hills Mall can sign a pledge card near the Tree of Life to make a personal commitment to abstain from drinking and driving. Those who consume alcohol should do so responsibly and make a plan for a sober driver or use a ride share service. Photos can be submitted digitally through the Tulsa Health Department website or physically dropped off at three locations of the Tulsa Health Department during business hours between 8:00 am and 5:00 pm: James O. Goodwin Health Center, Central Regional Health Center, and North Regional Health and Wellness Center. Photos can be received until December 8th, 2023 if submitting digitally; however, all pictures are welcomed.
The goal of this partnership is not only to raise awareness about drunk driving but also to encourage responsible behavior among those who consume alcohol. By working together, we can create safer roads and communities for everyone in Tulsa County