IMPAIRED DRIVING (Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol and/or Drugs)


Tree of Life

Time of Year

December – SADD Calendar


This activity focuses on the positive message of living a life free of the hazards and heartache of involvement with alcohol and other drugs.


To encourage safe behavior by friends and loved ones; to remember those who have died or been injured in an alcohol-related crash


  • Tree
  • Lights
  • Cards
  • Ribbon, string, or ornament hangers

The Tree of Life and Candlelight Vigil is a great way to bring the issue of impaired driving to the forefront during one of the most dangerous times of year.

Ideally, a live tree strung with white lights should be used to signify life. A local florist or garden center may allow your SADD chapter to borrow one for this activity. If a live tree is not available, you could create a papier mâché tree, a wall tree, or one of your own design. You might also consider using an artificial tree.

Choose a prominent place to display your tree. The school foyer, library, and cafeteria are good locations. A live tree outside on your school grounds will also work well. Many SADD chapters have done their Tree of Life and Candlelight Vigil in an outside area in their community or in a more public space like the local mall.

Be sure to display a large sign identifying your chapter and your activity. To decorate your tree, use blank cards on which you leave space to include a message or name. You can also choose to use a candle or a star shape that may be personalized. The tree of life activity may be used as a fund-raiser by charging a small donation for each card or item to be hung on the tree.
Seek lots of publicity for your event. Invite the local media to visit the activity and to take pictures. Invite the mayor, selectmen, school board members and other local officials to participate. Ask local elementary school students to make cards to hang on the tree.

What to Do

  1. Set up a tree (live or artificial) in a prominent location in the school or community.
  2. Create and duplicate cards to be hung on the tree.
  3. Invite students to write a personal message or the name of a friend or loved one on a card.
  4. Hang all cards on the tree.
  5. Hold a candlelight vigil if desired.


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