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.
Ways to make it better...
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?
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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?