Portsmouth to go ‘purple’ next week

PORTSMOUTH, R.I. — The town of Portsmouth will “go purple” for the 7th annual THP Project Purple Initiative from Jan. 22 to 27. Here’s how you can participate! 

This year celebrates seven years of the THP Project Purple Initiative, a national initiative of The Herren Project, a non-profit foundation established by Portsmouth resident Chris Herren, a former NBA basketball player, motivational speaker, author and sobriety advocate. The Herren Project assists individuals and families struggling with addiction through treatment navigation, education and mentoring.

THP Project Purple Initiative

The Herren Project’s Project Purple Initiative goals are to create awareness and educate the public on the epidemic of substance abuse while encouraging teens and people of all ages to make positive decisions and stand up to drugs and alcohol.

The THP Project Purple Initiative was developed when Chris Herren, a former professional basketball player who struggled with substance abuse throughout his basketball career, spoke at a local high school and the front row of students were wearing purple shirts. After Chris shared his story, one of the purple shirts raised her hand and stood up to speak.

As snickering and laughter could be heard in the auditorium, the student said, “Thank you, Mr. Herren, for validating what we do. We are the sober students of this high school and each year we take a pledge to not use drugs or alcohol.”

Chris was captured by the courage it took to not only stand up and share the symbolism of the purple shirts, but was inspired to make a difference amongst adolescents across the United States.

How You Can Participate 

As a result of the THP Project Purple Initiative, expect to see more purple around Portsmouth the week of Jan. 22 to 27 in the form of colored lights, flags and clothing.

Rec Night Friday

Prior to the week’s events, a “Rec” Night will be held this Friday, Jan. 18, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Portsmouth Middle School.

“We are kicking off Project Purple week with a Purple Rodeo,” wrote Jenn Collins in an email to Portsmouth Press.

The event will include inflatable bull rides, hippity hop horse races, and line dances. Tickets are $5.

PHS Dodgeball

The annual Project Purple Dodgeball game is also scheduled for Jan. 31 at 6 p.m. at Portsmouth High School.

More Ways to Participate 

Here are 4 more ways you can participate in Project Purple. To learn more about each step, click on the link. 

  1. Register your THP Project Purple Initiative team 
  2. Purchase and wear THP Project Purple Initiative gear or clothing
  3. Wear purple to show support
  4. String up purple lights to unite

Here are 10 more steps you can take to “go purple.” 

  1. Print out the one-page THP Project Purple Initiative Overview and meet with your school administration or community group leaders. Their support is essential in developing a successful THP Project Purple Initiative Program!
  2. Identify a THP Project Purple Initiative faculty point person or parent volunteer to supervise the group’s THP Project Purple Initiative activities, events and projects.
  3. Complete the THP Project Purple Initiative Registration form. This form allows The Herren Project to recognize your team as Purple, share your THP Project Purple Initiative photos, success stories and send your team updates on the THP Project Purple Initiative as new information and materials are released!
  4. Identify student leaders (may include class officers, athletic team captains, club leaders or band members) within the school who will embrace the THP Project Purple message and be willing to share it with their peers.
  5. Print out the THP Project Purple Initiative Pledge, mount it on cardstock and advertise an organizational meeting for the THP Project Purple Initiative. Invite your student leaders and recruit students to attend who will embrace the THP Project Purple Initiative message and pledge.
  6. Encourage your THP Project Purple Initiative team to web site, print out flyers to bring awareness to the THP Project Purple Initiative and begin to spread the mission and project’s message with others. Don’t forget to download the THP Project Purple Initiative App for the iPhone and Droid.
  7. Brainstorm ways to bring the THP Project Purple Initiative to your school or community group. Sponsor a Go Purple Day with Purple Gear (see below), organize a THP Project Purple Initiative sporting event, school project, peer mentoring or volunteer opportunity. Think out of the box – spread the THP Project Purple Initiative message and Go Purple!
  8. Order your THP Project Purple Initiative Gear! Whether it’s a THP Project Purple Initiative t-shirt, purple shoelaces or purple hair ribbons student take pride in spreading the message through wearing the THP Project Purple Initiative gear. It is their way of showing and spreading the message.
  9. Look to partner with your school administration and guidance counselors on ongoing school events such as prom, field day, school dances or homecoming. Organizations such as PTOs, booster groups and local drug and alcohol prevention coalitions may be helpful with funding and support when planning events.
  10. Stay positive! Make your objective positive peer on peer support. Guide, inspire and educate with a focus on making good, healthy choices. Let your imagination Go Purple and remember the THP Project Purple Initiative is open to all students- those on the right track and those in need of a fresh start. Go Purple!

Support the THP Project Purple Initiative on Social Media

Twitter: @THPpurple@HerrenProject

Instagram: THPpurple

Facebook: THP Project Purple Initiative 

Snap Chat: #THPpurple

Share your photos with us on our Facebook and Instagram pages, tag us in your posts and remember to Go Purple!

For more information and ideas for going purple, visit


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