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
Write a Review

More Info

EIN 54-1936878
804-796-7100
Invite people to share their experience with this nonprofit!

Promote This Nonprofit

GreatNonprofits badges allow you to raise awareness of your favorite nonprofits on your own web sites!

Review this charity on
GreatNonprofits

Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

As a concerned community partner from pubic health and now a Board member, I have been involved with SAFE for at least five years. During that time I have been inspired by the member's commitment to protecting and improving the health of our youths and the community through substance abuse prevention efforts. Using knowledge gained from community assessments, passionate individuals have strived to promote and implement environmental strategies for substance abuse prevention, making great strides in positively impacting underage drinking, inlalant use and prescription drug use. SAFE is a dynamic organization that exemplifies, "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world...indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." (Margaret Meade)

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

increased awareness of SAFEs initiatives at the local level through increased community partnerships; living in healthier community with changing societal norms related to underage drinking.

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

Increase the depth and breadth of community awareness regarding the positive strides made by SAFE for the health of our youths and community.

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I personally was not able to fully experience what this program does because of schedually conflicts, but from when i was there is was an increadibly fun and educational program. Even fror me as a person who was supposed to teach the lesson I learned so much. Getting to know some of the people at my school I would normally not hang out with was fun as well. This experience, though not fully experience, helped me to stregthen my dislike of drugs and the like in underage children and heightened my want to do more to stop children before they start.

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

how excited the other imbassitors were and how thrilled Mrs. Morgan was of the results.

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

make it more schedual friendly for those involved.

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I first got involved with SAFE through my job. I soon found out that the SAFE Coalition actually got things done. They "put feet to their words". Because of the way this coalition worked I had a desire to become a board member.

One of the things that has impressed me is the way that every member is valued for what they can bring to the table no matter how small or large the contribution. Safe is effective at revealing the fact that everyone has something to offer. They truely show that through teamwork we can all make a difference.

This coalition has done it's homework through the years. Using bench marking, assessment tools and innovative approaches SAFE is able to address many substance abuse issues. After addressing issues SAFE is quick to review, evaluate and share data.

Thanks to SAFE's leadership many of us have been more effective at weaving prevention into all aspects of our lives.

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

I have witnessed the impact that this coalition has had on children and adults.

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

Increase awareness of this coalition so other's can become more involved. Additonal funding would be helpful in reaching this goal.

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I became familiar with SAFE in the 2010-2011 school year as representatives from SAFE presented various programs at Ettrick Elementary School, where I served as principal. During the first program on inhalant abuse prevention, one of our patrons asked how to get involved in SAFE’s work. From that contact, two Ettrick volunteers were trained in conducting Parent Pods – small group meetings designed to engage, educate, and empower parents and grandparents in simple strategies to use that increase the likelihood that their children will remain drug and alcohol free.

The Parent Pod was underway and our Communities in Schools coordinator wanted to offer additional resources to parents and fifth grade students transitioning to middle school. Ettrick and CIS partnered with SAFE to bring Café Conversations to the school in the spring. This event provides a structure through which parents and their children share a meal together, engage in interactive fun together, and have facilitated conversations about the danger of drinking alcohol for underage youths.

I am impressed with the work of SAFE since its initiatives are created in response to community data regarding substance use and our young people. Data drives most of my decision making as an administrator and I see great value in this coalition since it plans community interventions very strategically. SAFE staff and volunteers clearly share a passion for working toward greater health and wellness in our comunity’s future leaders – the school children of today. SAFE is a wonderful non-profit organization!

Michael Courtney
Principal
Chesterfield County Public Schools

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

through parents sharing how they have enjoyed working with SAFE to develop Cafe Conversations.

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

not change anything.

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I became involved with SAFE at the invitation of the Executive Director- who had the vision of involving as many partners as he could to be involved with SAFE and more importantly, its mission. Reaching out to an adjacent locality enabled my Coalition to partner with and learn from SAFE's expertise. SAFE has been a leader in the state around issues of Inhalent Abuse prevention, bringing speakers to the community who are experts and who have been personally touched by this troubling problem.
SAFE's work on prevention of underage alcohol abuse has employed effective environmental strategies that are making a difference in the health of our community.

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

I have personally experienced the results of this organization through my involvement with the terrific staff who willingly share knowledge and resources with my organization- thus multiplying results !

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

If I could make changes in this organization I would increase the staffing level so that more great results might be evidenced in different arenas.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Likely

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

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

Fifteen years ago, as part of my job responsibilities, I was assigned to be my agency's representative to what has now become SAFE. Initially, I remember thinking "what am I doing here?". During the past 15 years, I have had the privilege of working as a volunteer, board member, and board chair, and have witnessed the tremendous growth of SAFE and the positive impact it has had on our community. Thanks to the efforts of SAFE, we have been able to obtain youth survey data that has shocked our community into taking actions to protect our youth. Several initiatives related to inhalant abuse prevetion have not only benefitted our local community, but have been utilized throughout the state and country.
SAFE's efforts to engage the community continue to occur, involving youth, parents, community agencies and local businesses.
I now no longer ask "what am I doing here?".......I now look at what SAFE has been able to accomplish in a relatively short time frame and think "how great that I've been able to play a small role in seeing my community become a better place for our youth!"

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

So many of the activities I've been involved with are youth related, and gave me the opportunity to involve my own children in activities to help them understand the effects of making healthy decisions.

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

Increase staff support to allow us to implement additional activities; continue to add to the active membership of the organization.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

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

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

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

At a time in my life when issues which SAFE was devoted to were issues I was becoming more and more aware of on a personal level, I happened across a small red resource card with the then unfamiliar SAFE logo stamped across the front cover. I peered inside at its contents and realized that one apparent mission of this group was to guide those impacted by substance abuse to the appropriate resources. At that moment, I decided SAFE would be a pretty neat group to become involved with. I did not take the step at that time, however.

Fast forward at least five years. In a new professional career, one of my responsibilities was to serve as a school volunteer for SAFE's youth-focused initiatives. Being a "new kid on the block", I was in a number of situations that didn't feel very comfortable. I found some professionals to be somewhat unwelcoming for reasons I did not understand. That was not the case with my SAFE colleagues, however. If they saw that you didn't mind hard work or thinking creatively, you were in! So - I was in!!

Some of my most meaningful and substantive training in the field of prevention came through SAFE. Learning about logic models made me dizzy, but realizing their value in the capacity to address community issues effectively provided me with a new outlook on the (sometimes dreaded) logic model.

I was extended the opportunity to make a real community contribution in co-authoring an inhalant abuse prevention manual with my colleague and now friend, Sharyl Adams. Her tireless work in the field of substance abuse prevention coupled with the leadership, diligence, and vision of our executive director, Wayne Frith, and SAFE's many valued partners and volunteers have catapulted this coalition onto the national scene. When we addressed the issue of inhalant abuse in our community in a strategic way through employing a logic model and all the hard work that followed, outcomes were rather astounding.

SAFE's mission is to engage the community in substance abuse prevention and Mr. Frith is fond of sharing that when a community discovers its values, there is nothing it cannot change. SAFE is now working tirelessly on a number of initiatives that impact substance abuse at the community level through environmental strategies, strategies which are employed to have the greatest impact on the greatest number of families and communities. Its focus is on underage drinking prevention, reduction of prescription medication abuse, and reduced accessibility of inhalant abuse through a cooperative program with area H-VAC companies.

I had the pleasure and privilege of working with this group as a school representative for about five years and will simply never forget the benefits I reaped from my involvement with SAFE at that level.

SAFE is truly a GREAT NON-PROFIT!

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

the work I did as a volunteer serving what was then the Inhalant Abuse Prevention Task Force and in serving as one of SAFE's NASADAD award recipients in September 2010.

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

grant it greater staff and administrative support. There's so much work that could be done to engage more of the community, but SAFE needs more office help to continue making great progress.

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

What is unique about this organization?

I've never had the privilege of volunteering or working with an organization which has engaged so many sectors of the community so effectively as SAFE seems to have done.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

SAFE focuses on eliminating substance abuse, especially in teens. They have done a remarkable job of developing a coalition of governmental, public and private organizations and agencies to focus on this critical issue and they have been very successful. Great work! Keep it up!

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

strengthened partnerships.

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

not make any changes.

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

The new National Prevention Strategy states that "prevention should be woven into all aspects our our lives, including where and how we live, learn, work and play." Chesterfield SAFE works tirelessly to make that concept a reality in Chesterfield County. SAFE initiatives have contributed to a measurable decrease in inhalant use in our county and an increase in retailer compliance in not selling alcohol to underage buyers. SAFE is proactive in identifying and addressing substance related risk factors in our community.

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

SAFE materials served as a catalyst for a discussion between me and my child about alcohol use and refusal skills.

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

Increase community members' awareness and involvement in SAFE.

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

SAFE has worked tirelessly to help our community of Chesterfield County VA to be safer for our youth. By developing programs that have targeted inhalant abuse, prescription and over-the-counter drug abuse, as well as underage drinking, they have contributed to making this a community that is "safe" for our neighbors.

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

Helping to increase the public's knowledge about the use and abuse of inhalants of some segments of Chesterfield County youth that have led to decreases in usage from twice the national average to below the national average.

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

Provide additional funding to help this organization to be able to reach more people.

Was this review helpful?