SAFE (Substance Abuse Free Environment, Inc.)

Rating: 4.95 stars   43 reviews

Issues: Mental Health, Education

Location: P.O. Box 35413 North Chesterfield, VA 23235 VA 23235 USA

Mission: SAFE engages our community in working together to prevent substance abuse.
Results: Some of SAFE's successes include a decrease in inhalant abuse among eighth-graders by 63% since 2005, from twice the national average to well below it. SAFE has partnered with air conditioning companies, who have installed over 2,500 free locking caps on A/C units to prevent huffing of refrigerant. SAFE's compliance checks initiative has led to a 75% reduction in alcohol sales to minors.
Target demographics: prevent substance abuse
Geographic areas served: the community of Chesterfield County
Programs: inhalant abuse prevention, marijuana use prevention, underage drinking prevention, alcohol-related crashes prevention,smoking prevention, and prescription drug abuse prevention.

2013 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

SAFE consists of a collection of utterly different and amazingly talented people all dedicated to the notion that when a community comes together with common values for a common cause, no challenge is too great. The community as well as the staff acted in concert to address substance abuse concerns through strategies proved effective via third party evaluation. When it comes to community action, it doesn't get any better than SAFE.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

replicate it

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

As a High-School student, I find myself overzealous in my efforts in attempt to make a difference in my community. Not only does Chesterfield County SAFE give me the opportunity to do so , but they have also made differences in my life as well. I can truly say that everyone in this organization is just as passionate as I am , if not more, in touching the hearts of those in our community. We bring awareness to the possible detrimental effects that drug usage can have on someones life , mentor youth and serve as a voice for those who may not have one. I grew up without many opportunities , but once I ran into Chesterfield County SAFE I found changes in my life being made , hence , I became even more passionate about impacting the lives of others. If I had to start my journey over with SAFE and relive every moment volunteering or being around its board members, I would with no regrets.SAFE is truly an organization unlike any other.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Expand! Lets take it further than the Chesterfield County Area!

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

First Touch Sports partners with SAFE to reach and teach young people about the dangers of using alcohol, tobacco and drugs. Their Teen Ambassador program is an effective way to use high school students as positive role models for 5th grade students. The youth that we have participating in First Touch Sports look forward to serving as Teen Ambassadors and learn as much as the student they work with. SAFE is also proving to be very forward thinking in their approach to reaching young people through sports. It makes sense to meet people where they are and to help healthy kids get the real facts about use among teens and to stay healthy and avoid peer pressure.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

No changes...but I would help them secure more funding to make sure they are serving residents of Chesterfield County for a long time to come!

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Role: General Member of the Public
Rating: 4 stars  

The Chesterfield Health District Medical Reserve Corps has partnered with Chesterfield SAFE on several projects and most recent the "Keep Your Meds SAFE" campaign. SAFE has proven to be a valuable resource to local communities as well as local government. SAFE is a compassionate non-profit organization that is detailed goal orientated while establishing relationships which is the foundation of a non-profit organization such as SAFE. Keep up the good work!
Tammie

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

As the retired medical director of a large state agency involved with mental health and substance abuse treatment and policy, I have been very impressed with Chesterfield SAFE as a group that very thoughtfully provides outreach, education and other services as well as collaboration and coordination with schools, children and parents, law enforcement and the general public. It has been a pleasure to get to know and work with SAFE staff and other volunteers such as myself.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A little

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

I work closely on media outreach programs for a number of Virginia state government agencies. Chesterfield SAFE is a top notch, well organized, and detail-oriented organization. A very active group of coalition members work hard and take great pride in developing solutions that are both cost efficient and effective in communicating with the residents of this community. Chesterfield SAFE truly lives up to the potentially life saving standards implied by their name.

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

One of the things that I love most about SAFE is that they believe in community collaboration. They love connecting and networking with other sectors of the community, i.e. county agencies, schools, faith communities, businesses, the media, non-profits, and the police to create a stronger, healthier environment for all it's citizens. As a recent addition to the SAFE staff, I have been inspired as I have experienced individuals with a variety of strengths bringing what they have to the table to work together. We have volunteers who range in a variety of expertise, age, and cultural backgrounds. And as a result, SAFE's substance abuse free message has a broader, far-reaching impact, not just to Chesterfield County, but also across the metropolitan areas of Richmond. I have never seen a more selfless group of individuals who are willing to see each others' missions succeed in tandem with their own. Now that's what I call a "Great Nonprofit"!

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

I was previously with a government agency that provided grant funding to community coalitions across the State of Virginia. In this role, I had the opportunity to work with and visit numerous substance abuse prevention coalitions across the state. Many of these organizations were providing valuable services to youth and parents in their communities. However, Substance Abuse Free Environment, Inc. (SAFE) stood out as an exemplary non-profit organization. The coalition engages community partners working collaboratively to effect true, long- lasting community level change through the use of environmental strategies. I was so truly impressed with the staff and the organization's reputation at the federal and state level as evidenced through numerous awards, that I left my state position and am now privileged to be a SAFE staff member serving Chesterfield County and making a difference in my own neighborhood.

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

My name is Pat and my invovlement with SAFE as a volunteer was educational. SAFE really helped me understand the problems we have with substance abuse in our communities, families and homes. SAFE didn't just make me aware of the problems of substance abuse; they invited me to meetings for feedback, suggestions and person skills to help solve the problems of substance abuse. To me SAFE is an organization that SHOW others what they are about, ACT on what they show and believe , FOLLOW through with support, trainings & resources, and EMBRACE others to help.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I've been a parent volunteer for SAFE since my son was in high school over 10 years ago. It was a hard time. The other community members in SAFE never judged me, welcomed whatever I could offer and gave me hope that together we could build a better substance free community. My son graduated from college several years ago, but I stay involved with SAFE because we are making a difference! Over the years we have used baseline data to make strategic interventions and have outcome data and results that prove we are making our community better for youth and adults.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

Every good non-profit should have heart, but a GREAT non-profit has many heads and hands. SAFE, Inc is great because SAFE really understands the head part. In other words, everything starts and ends with data. We use data to assess our communities needs and we track our progress. Our hands are busy and always extended to partner with others. People who start volunteering with SAFE stay volunteering because it is so motivating to see the outcome data that shows we made a difference. Every meeting for any subgroup or task force has a clear vision of where they are going based on data. Meetings are punctuated by laughter and people saying, "Hey, what if...?" or "I know someone who can..." Creative ideas are explored, people are respected, and action is taken. As a volunteer who has a full time job, I stay involved with SAFE because not only does this group care, it makes a huge difference for our community. The Awards SAFE has won are nice, but making a difference is the best!

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

I have been a parent volunteer for SAFE over the past 5 years. I am consistently amazed by how this group of volunteers and key community stake holders has come together to address substance abuse issues. We are dedicated to making a difference and that starts by our committment to collect data and annually assess where we stand. From there we prioritize and strategize about the best way to make a difference. As has been said before, no one person can do everything, but we all can do something. Each year I am impressed by both the sincerity, compassion and common sense that this group demonstrates. We are making a difference and we are in it for the long hall.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

This organization has stellar data reducing our inhalant use through persistent and consisten efforts. I have seen participation by parents and community members grow over the years. We don't "assume" or "hope" we are making a difference. We track data and evaluate. I feel valued as a member and believe that my input counts.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I'd love to see us expand membership even more.

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