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2019 Top-Rated Nonprofit

CANDLE, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Mental Health, Substance Abuse Dependency, Prevention & Treatment

Mission: To provide sustainable and innovative drug/alcohol prevention programs that reach parent & child together.

Results: CANDLE, Inc. has provided the tools for dozens of communities to 'take care of their own' via our Reality Tour Program Model. Over 35,000 parents/children in our home state of PA have participated. Our program is in 7 states and Canada. All replicated programs have been able to successfully us our tools to create ongoing prevention services in their community by networking a volunteer force.

Target demographics: communities use existing resources to provide an evidence-based parent/child prevention experience that is self-sustaining and provided on a scheduled basis so there is always a program coming up for families to access.

Direct beneficiaries per year: CANDLE, Inc. directly oversees Reality Tours in Butler & Westmoreland PA, reaching over 2,000 families. CANDLE, Inc's Reality Tour Program Model allowed other communities replicating the program to reach over 10,000 participants. Over 250 families enrolled in our Family Health Policy, home 'drug testing with love' program.

Geographic areas served: Reality Tours are in over a dozen PA counties and in 7 other states. For a complete listing of sites visit www.Realtiy Tour.org Family Health Policy is an online product accessible to anyone in the US

Programs: the Reality Tour Drug Prevention Program and Family Health Policy Home Drug-testing, CANDLE, Inc. gives communities and families the tools to educate the community on substance abuse prevalence and drug trends while imparting coping skills that can help families prevent experimentation.

Community Stories

157 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Reality Tour was a real eye opener for myself, my wife and my daughter (oldest of 3 daughters). This program should be mandatory in all schools and it helped open up a lot of dialogue with our daughter. Please continue to provide this great service to all communities that you can. Thanks!!

Client Served

Rating: 5

As a young father of three I thought I knew about helping my kids avoid the trap of drug abuse...boy was I wrong! This program is so eye opening, informative and impactful! It opened dialogue with my wife, our son and our other two younger children! We were so moved by the work of the reality tour our family has now volunteered several times helping in the tours and acting as well!!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Jim H. , Cranberry Township, PA

I took my 13 year old son to this and we both thought it was a great presentation. The speakers there included law enforcement personnel as well as teenage kids who shared their stories of how they have had problems and how easily peer pressure can help cause kids to make wrong decisions. The live stations were impactful too when the actors made us feel the pain of losing a loved one because of this issue. I would highly encourage everyone to take their kids to see this. It's important and unfortunately it is part of reality these days and something that we all have to face openly with our children.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I was afraid to take my first child to the Reality Tour. But, once I did, I was so glad! It was a great way to really show my child that the world has so many dangers that can be avoided. It taught us a lot, opened communication, and was impactful. We took my second child when she was old enough. I highly encourage all parents to do this!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

In 2017, I attended a Reality Tour event with my son who was then in 6th grade in Cranberry Township Pennsylvania. Saying that this event "moved" me would be a huge understatement. First and foremost, my son loved the program and felt a true sense of accomplishment when he pledged to never do drugs, which led the two of us toward having an awesome conversation about the perils of teen drug usage. Secondly, it resonated with me as I unfortunately experienced the loss of many childhood friends when I was a teenager in the early 1980's in the DC area. I strongly feel that, had a program like this, with its very grounded approach, been available when I was a teen, a good number of teen lives would have been saved. I loved every aspect of this program. The reading materials, skits, and overall presentation are all crafted in a way that is positively impactful. Simply put, this is a must see event.

Teresa W.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I took my 4 children to this about 7 years ago. it was definitely powerful and memorable. To be honest they STILL complain that I dragged them to this. LOL But they can still tell you all about it. They'll tell you what they saw and the things the speakers said.

Client Served

Rating: 5

This was an excellent program. I believe schools should get involved and very student should go through this. Extremely informative and helpful. Well done!!!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Best think YOU could ever do for your child is to sign up TODAY for a tour . It just might save a life !

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I highly recommend that every parent and child attend this! You will be glad you did and well worth every second! We are fortunate to have a group of people in our area to put this together and educate parents/children about the common dangers we face each and every day. A special thanks to all that contribute to Reality Tour and I will plan to attend again in the future!

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Reality Tour has been such a blessing while raising my children! Teenagers absolutely do not have the ability to navigate through middle and high school without parents educating themselves and their teens on the pitfalls and dangers of drug use! The Reality Tour does just that. Their “family health policy” (random drug testing) is exactly what teens need to keep them safe. The drug epidemic is real, and no family is above it’s reach! Thank you Reality Tour for helping me to help those I love!

Client Served

Rating: 5

My friends and I enjoy planning a night out with our teenage children (both boys and girls in the group) and decided to attend this tour together. We opened the evening by taking the children to dinner then each drove in our own vehicles to afford them the opportunity for one on one discussions in the car on the way home from the tour. This was one of our most valuable nights out as a group. It was an eye opener for the children and educational to all of us in attendance. I will be forever grateful for the education provided as well as the reality of the consequences when confronted with unwarranted circumstances. My daughter had so many questions afterwards and now years later, often refers to the tour and how it impacted her teenage years. Thank you so much for a great experience! I would highly recommend this tour to anyone wishing to educate their child on drugs, but not so sure as to how to initiate the discussion or where to begin seeking out materials!
Role: General Member of the Public

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Hello everyone my name is David Griffith and i had the honor of being involved with the reality tour in Butler Oct. the 8th. I was the undercover cop that made the arrest. I have to tell you that i myself am in recovery for the last 22 months. I was amazed at the reaction of the parents and the teens that were in attendance.I feel that this program could change the attitude of both parties involved. I myself spent 22 years in prison for different offences ALL DRUG AND ALCOHOL Related. I don't know if a program like this could have changed me or not. there was no program at the time. But rest assured that if we only change one person it could be your son your daughter or even you. I hope that this will peak your curiosity and would welcome your visit to the program. In Recovery GRIFF!!!

Ray B.2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Reality tour is an effective way to make teens (and parents) aware of the tremendous dangers of drug use, as well as the negative impact drugs have on individuals, families and communities! Well done, RB

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The reality tour was an amazing experience and something that every parent/child should do together. In the middle of an opioid pandemic in this country we def need to be able to open lines of communication in the house n the reality tour helps do exactly that with a very hard stigmatized subject that many parents don’t wanna talk about. Thinking it could be your child on drugs is never an easy concept, however at the rate of overdoses in this country, it very easily could be anybody’s child. Addiction does not discriminate and the reality tour helps bring all of this into focus. Excellent tour with exceptional people. This tour also serves a bigger purpose for the community and our country by getting facts about drugs out there. I personally feel prevention is way better than treatment for addiction.
Great job

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I went to my first Reality Tour in 2017, in search of a Drug & Alcohol program to introduce to the Parents' Association at Vincentian Academy, and have been impressed to the point of now participating in the local Cranberry Twp., and Mars monthly sessions (usually the Grieving Father), while trying to gather a core group of movers and shakers in the Pittsburgh North Hills to form our own Reality Tour.

It was my turn to tally the post-session survey last month, and see clearly that both the parents and their 10-15 year old children benefit from all aspects of the three hour event, especially from the actor scenes and the testimonials of the recovering high school addicts, while long-term previous participants report that the Tour opened up a lasting channel of communications within their families--and opened up the eyes of often naive parents.

Reality Tour is a successful, winning step in solving the drug and alcohol problems plaguing our nation. Respectfully, Ed Catozella

Rachel L.2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I attended a Reality Tour by CANDLE Inc just recently and after experiencing it I immediately wondered why I didn't have something like this when I was a young kid. Instead of the kids hearing about what happens to you if you starting abusing drugs, they actually witness it happen. Which obviously leaves a bigger impact on them and the parents watching their kids watch it. I think every school should partner with CANDLE Inc so the kids not only see what could happen to them, but their friends and family as well. I can't wait to help out with more and impact more parents and their kids lives.

grahm2.0

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Reality Tour is still helping families prevent drug and alcohol abuse after all these years. I've been so fortunate to be a part of such a wonderful organization! The friendly staff and dedicated volunteers really have designed and crafted a wonderful program highlighting the reality of what drugs and alcohol offer: jail, tragedy, and death. It's such a courageous and honest approach to a topic that was clouded in stigma and misinformation for far too long! I support the mission and wish many years of success!

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

As a volunteer in 2009, the Reality Tour helped to change my opinion of the value of drug prevention programs. The approach brings real-life experiences into plain view, which seems to have a greater impact than traditional methods. I've since returned as a board member to help carry out CANDLE, Inc.'s mission, in hopes that perhaps one young life may be pointed in the right direction.

Logan C.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

"I attended Reality Tour as a member of the Slippery Rock University community who is studying public relations at the university. In the public relations field of study, I have learned that having strong community relations is vital to the success of all organizations. Reality Tour does just that in looking after the youth and parents of local communities and showing them the dangers of drugs and alcohol. Public relations is all about appealing to the audience with information important to them and working with their best interest in mind and that’s exactly what Reality Tour does."

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

After attending Reality Tour with our son, we all gained valuable knowledge and talking points to discuss issues, as a family, that surround us. It is a great program, very informative. We were so touched by the program that we now volunteer and hope to make a difference.

Deej H.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I attended my first Reality Tour and I gained a lot of insight on exactly what the nonprofit was all about. I learned a lot of vital information that is now able to share with my family and friends. I have begun to encourage those friends and family members to also attend the tours located near them.

1 Lou Rainaldi J.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My family attended Reality Tour in Butler shortly after we lost Amber to this horrible disease. Reality Tour is a very good program that brings up good conversations within families and communities. My family had some very good talks about the program and the information.
Thank you for organizing Reality Tour and making it available to communities.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I attend Reality Tour for the first time this past April and it was such an eye-opener. The information presented to the parents and children is shocking and needs to be made more public. There were times that parents would gasp when told a statistic, or get teary eyed when the guest speakers discussed their past addiction and how it has negatively affected their lives. I was touched by the whole experience and I hope that I will be able to take my kids to a tour in the future.

Tonya L.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 3

The information was good and informative. However it lacked child engagement and age-appropriate activities.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

What's an amazing program! Every child and parent should see. The dramatic scenes are very impactful. Definitely worth attending and could truly save your child!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I first experienced Reality tour when I took my boys. It was a great experience for the entire family. We all learned something and it opened up the door for more open communication. The fact that the parent experiences it with their child is priceless. We were so impressed with it that we now volunteer with the local tour to hopefully direct other kids away from drugs.

Previous Stories

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Reality Tour is the best thing i ever did with my boys. They really got their eyes opened. We did it 9 months ago and they are still commenting on it. Everyone with kids or grandkids should take them to see it.

Allison Lynne S.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I would have loved to do this when I was younger. I think this opens the eyes to parents on what to look for. I think Kids will have an eye opener also , they will see how much peer pressure and the desire to fit in is very strong.

Kaylee N.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Reality Tour program is so wonderful for our community and others. I love knowing that I am able to make a difference in people’s lives. Our society has a drug epidemic and it will not get any better if people do not try and help. The Reality Tour does just that. I appreciate that this program enables me to be an advocate for drug prevention. I will continue to help my community through the amazing program of the Reality Tour. This is an awesome volunteer opportunity for anybody wanting to make a difference.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

We attended the October session of the Reality Tour with our 6th and 7th grader. Wow - it was impacting! The presentation was "real" for both kids and parents - never a dull moment. Understanding the difference between 1980's and today was sobering and scary, but I was so glad to have received the information accurately, in an open forum, and explaining the consequences to our kids and the community. The two boys from the Detention Center that spoke definitely made it real for our kids because they are so close in age and describing how fast or unintentionally it can happen. The tour ended by providing a guide to continue the conversation for the next few weeks, which has opened up conversation even further. I'd highly recommend making the time to attend.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Reality Tour was an amazing experience that taught me about the harmful effects of drugs and alcohol. I learned so much from the program and I truly believe that the Reality Tour is the reason for me staying clean throughout high school. I feel everyone should experience it and learn that drugs are not irrelevant in the community and how to stay away from them.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a new volunteer for Reality Tour, I cannot think of a more worthwhile program for our children, grandchildren, parents, grandparents and extended family. Reality Tour is not just informative, but a tool for parents and children to learn about alcohol, drugs and its serious and dangerous ramifications. It is an evening of learning and hopefully, life long prevention.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I recently attended a Reality Tour and was very impressed. The program was very informative and impactful, and also provided helpful prevention strategies for both parents and children. It was so nice to have a program that parents and children attend together. If you have adolescents or teenagers, I highly recommend that your family attend a Reality Tour.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This is a fantastic program and one that I would most definitely recommend for anyone with pre-teens and teens. It is extremely informative, well executed and holds the attention of all involved. I found it to be life-changing for myself and my children.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

I attended the Drug Reality Tour with my middle school daughter (three years ago) - it was insightful! The experience gave each of us a common ground which we could use to begin conversations - those began immediately and are ongoing. Based on that experience we continually talk and discuss current issues facing my teen and peers...drinking, drugs and especially the opioid crisis. Thank you Drug Reality Tour!!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

CANDLE, Inc has done so much for the families of our community. The organization stresses the importance of talking with their children from a young age about the dangers of drugs. The impact that the Reality Tour has had has been significant and education is the key to success.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

When I first came to a reality tour I was not sure what to expect; but soon learned that it is a program crucial to parents and kids everywhere who need this information to protect their families from the drug epidemic. It is a lasting feeling of satisfaction that I can help make a difference in the lives of my fellow youths, and I will never forget how this opportunity has prepared me for the next step in my career.

Being an intern for CANDLE Inc. has given me the opportunity to be a part of an amazing organization and give back to the community by helping to spread the word of drug prevention. Out of the many important things I have learned during my time at CANDLE, it is just how important working as a team is to the smooth running of a company. From day one, being able to listen to each other and work together is the base of what we accomplished this semester. I've also learned how to improve and further tailor my messages to my audience as well as a hands on look into event planning.