Residents of a southern Saskatchewan town are receiving heartfelt, hand-drawn messages to stay sober on roads this holiday season.
RCMP Cpl. Jason St. Pierre, who works in Assiniboia, said he was asked by the local newspaper to come up with a Christmas message on impaired driving.
Having witnessed the devastating consequences of drunk driving, St. Pierre decided to rally more voices to the cause.
He told 650 CKOM he went to the two liquor stores in town and asked for some of the brown bags customers receive with their purchase.
“Wanted to take (the bags) over to the local schools and have the kids put a Christmas message on them — whether it’s a simple Merry Christmas or don’t drink and drive,” he said.
What he got back was overwhelming – 150 bags uniquely decorated with powerful words and images.
“It’s pretty incredible for those messages to be coming out of kids that young in the community,” St. Pierre said.
Drawings of cars and broken hearts along with messages saying “don’t let cheers turn into tears” and “choose wisely — hand over your keys, not your life.”
The bags were then returned to the stores, where customers have started receiving them with their alcohol.
“It’s a lot more personal coming from somebody, than just a generic message on a bag … they definitely hit home,” St. Pierre said, adding children in preschool to Grade 8 took part.
“It created a lot of conversations, from what I’m told, in their classes between students and teachers.”
St. Pierre said he is already looking ahead to next year, when he’ll get even more bags and start earlier in the season.
“At the end of the day, we try to get everyone home to their families safe.”
Assiniboia is located 106 kilometres south of Moose Jaw.