Lock Up Your Meds!

Protect loved ones from opioid misuse

Whether you realize it or not, the pain reliever medications sitting on your shelf or countertop could be putting your family and friends at risk of opioid misuse. 

Many of today’s household medicine cabinets contain prescription opioid medications. Legal prescription opioids commonly prescribed by doctors to reduce pain after surgery or injury include oxycodone (OxyContin®), hydrocodone (Vicodin®), codeine and morphine.1 

While opioid pain medications are generally safe when taken for a short time and as prescribed by a doctor1, the highly addictive drugs are being misused at a shocking rate. In fact, opioids are now one of the leading causes of injury-related deaths in Washington state. More people die from overdose than from car crashes.2

Opioid misuse affects people of all ages, but it is an increasingly concerning problem among Washington’s young people. According to the Healthy Youth Survey, almost 11 percent of teens surveyed reported using a painkiller to get high in the past 30 days.3 This is one of the highest rates in the country.  

In Skagit County— home to a high rate of self-reported use of opioids among young people between the ages of 14 and 18 years old3 — this number could include your friends, neighbors and even family members. 

These teens are likely getting the drugs from someone they know — 75 percent of opioid misuse starts with people using medication that wasn’t prescribed for them, usually taken from a friend or family member.4

It’s an alarming fact. But one simple step — such as locking up medications — could help stop your prescription opioid pills from being misused by a family member or home visitor. 

Protect your loved ones and lock up the opioids in a safe, locked cabinet, medicine lockbox or other secure container. Be sure to keep pills in the original packaging to prevent confusion with other medications. And, finally, never share your prescription medication with others. 

When you’re no longer taking the medication, promptly remove unused opioid prescriptions from your home and safely dispose of the leftover pills at a permanent take back location. Find one near you at TakeBackYourMeds.org. 

Opioid misuse is a statewide problem, but we all can play a role in the solution. Lock up your medications to help protect your teens and other loved ones from opioid misuse. Visit GetTheFactsRx.com for more information.  

Sources: 1National Institute on Drug Abuse, 2Washington State Department of Health, 3Healthy Youth Survey (2016), 4Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Boys & Girls Clubs of Skagit County awarded a portion of the $10.5 Million Donation from Panda Cares®


(July  25, 2022, Mount Vernon, WA)The Boys & Girls Clubs of America received its largest single-year donation on May 16th, 2022 and has named the Boys & Girls Clubs of Skagit County as one of their recipients to receive a portion of the generous donation. With a shared commitment to help more youth reach their full academic potential, the Panda Cares® Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Panda Express®, has willingly supported the nonprofit’s mission of enabling and enriching the lives of young people through learning initiatives that are responsive to the unique needs of each young learner. With this grant partnership, Panda Cares and Boys & Girls Clubs of Skagit County will continue to empower thousands of kids and teens at our many locations across the county to excel in school, character, and leadership. The generous donation will ensure the funding necessary to provide high-quality in-person learning opportunities for Club Members across Skagit County.

About Panda Express  On a mission to inspire better lives, Panda Express® is the largest Asian dining concept in the U.S. Family-owned and operated since 1983 by co-founders and co-CEOs Andrew and Peggy Cherng, Panda Express is best known as a trailblazer for creating a wide variety of industry-first recipes, including its best seller the Original Orange Chicken® and award-winning Honey Walnut Shrimp™, which have defined the category of authentic American Chinese cuisine. Each dish at Panda Express, including the Wok Smart® selections, is thoughtfully crafted with quality ingredients and inspired by bold Chinese flavors and culinary principles. The restaurant brand has more than 2,400 locations and has introduced American Chinese cuisine to twelve international countries.  

Powered by this global family of associates, Panda Cares®, the philanthropic arm of Panda Express, has raised more than $282 million and dedicated countless volunteer hours in bettering the health and education for over 12 million youths, as well as supporting communities in need since 1999. In 2020, the organization established the Panda Cares Scholars Program to provide the necessary funding, academic support and leadership development to help high school and college students learn, lead and thrive towards a bright future. For more information, visit  pandaexpress.com  or  pandacares.org.  


Burlington, WA (July 30th , 2022) – Every year, nearly four million young people are served by Boys & Girls Clubs. To show their continued support in preparing today’s youth for a brighter tomorrow, Ross Stores, Inc. is partnering with Boys & Girls Clubs of America with a three-week program called, “Help Local Kids Learn.” Beginning July 30th, customers in Burlington can make a monetary contribution at their local Ross Dress for Less (“Ross”) location during checkout to be donated to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Skagit County, through August 21st.

“For the eighth year in a row, Ross Stores is very excited the annual Help Local Kids Learn in-store campaign for the Boys & Girls Clubs. This back-to-school campaign will directly help kids at local Clubs across the country. BGCA and Ross’ strong partnership of many years is rooted in our shared commitment to help young people reach their full potential as productive, caring, and responsible citizens,” said Fred Shuey, Senior Vice President of Ross Stores.

This back-to-school season, Ross Stores is inviting customers to give at the register to benefit Boys & Girls Clubs of America from July 30th – August 21st. Ross will match the first $400,000 raised! 100% of the funds raised at each store will benefit Boys & Girls Clubs, with 80% being directed to a Club in the community. Ross is the national sponsor of BGCA’s Power Hour, a program that provides kids and teens the opportunity to do their homework in a safe place, in-person or virtually, with support from Boys & Girls Club staff. Every $5 donation helps provide one half hour of homework help for a Club youth. $15 helps keep a kid safe after school.

About Ross Stores
Ross Stores, Inc. is an S&P 500, Fortune 500 and Nasdaq 100 (ROST) company headquartered in Dublin, California, with fiscal 2021 revenues of $18.9 billion. Currently, the Company operates Ross Dress for Less®, the largest off-price apparel and home fashion chain in the United States with 1,648 locations in 40 states, the District of Columbia and Guam. Ross offers first-quality, in-season, name brand and designer apparel, accessories, footwear and home fashions for the entire family at savings of 20% to 60% off department and specialty store regular prices every day. The Company also operates 303 dds DISCOUNTS® in 21 states that feature a more moderately priced assortment of first-quality, in-season, name brand apparel, accessories, footwear and home fashions for the entire family at savings of 20% to 70% off moderate department and discount store regular prices every day.
Additional information is available at www.rossstores.com.

Knowmads Visit Mount Baker Middle School

What a great time it was having the Knowmadfam visit the Mount Baker Middle School to share their positive messaging and story with our youth. If you haven’t heard of them, the KnowMads have been a staple in the Seattle music scene for over a decade. Inspired by the new wave of conscious hip hop that was coming out of their hometown, KnowMads found their own local success in their teens and went on to tackle major Northwest festivals, Bumbershoot and Sasquatch, where they drew thousands of supporters. We’re super stoked to have had them come down while on tour to share their successes, hardships, and music in hopes of inspiring our youth to follow their dreams. #GreatFuturesStartHere Check out these videos of their visit and the kids taking part of a freestyle lyrical battle.



(April 19, 2022, Mount Vernon, WA) – Congressman Rick Larsen, representing the Washington 2nd District, was recently honored as the 2022 Champion of Youth by Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA). Representative Larsen is himself an alum of the Arlington Boys & Girls Club, where he has fond memories of programs and playing basketball growing up. Ron McHenry, CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Skagit County, and counterpart Heather Powell from Whatcom County presented the congressman with the award during BGCA’s National Days of Advocacy, in March, in Washington, DC.

A long-time advocate for youth who need support in their communities most, Congressman Larsen has visited Club locations in Allen, Anacortes, Burlington, and Sedro-Woolley, engaging Club members, and ensuring he has a pulse of the challenges they face growing up in today’s world.

Representative Larsen was nominated by Boys & Girls Clubs of Skagit County, and selected for the award based on his support of programs and policies that promote the health and prosperity of today’s youth. As a lead sponsor of the Summer Meals Act, he has been an absolute force in advocacy surrounding food insecurity and nutrition. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the congressman has been a shoulder to lean on, vocally backing the Washington State Boys & Girls Club organization’s out-of-school-time care programs and access to emergency childcare funding. 

“Having the opportunity to present the congressman with the Champion of Youth Award meant a lot to us because of all he has done to advance the mission of Boys & Girls Clubs and our impact on kids and teens,” said Ron McHenry. “When we arrived for our meeting at his office, I was especially heartened to see a piece of art made by one of our Skagit kids we had taken as a thank you a few years ago had been beautifully framed and featured prominently for guests to enjoy. He ‘gets’ Clubs, and has been a champion for many years.”