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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

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I attended my first Reality Tour prior to starting my internship with CANDLE,Inc. I wanted to be educated on the process of the tour from an outside perspective before my time spent behind the scenes. The tour immediately made me think about my education about drug prevention. I remember my middle school education of learning what drugs did to your body and how they were bad by watching videos in health class. Other than learning of the harms from a mandatory class in middle school, I only remember my parents telling me I would ruin my life if I ever did drugs, which made me stay away from the kids who were using.

I truly believe Reality Tour goes above and beyond the class curriculum of watching a series of videos in health class. Having a parent attend with their child is a mutually beneficial tactic for drug prevention. The tour gives hands-on access for a child to see the consequences of a teen who made life-changing bad choices. The impact of visualizing a mother losing their child is beyond what any video can show.

Being 22 years old, I was moved by what Reality Tour does and how it impacts the audience. The opportunity to intern at this nonprofit has opened my eyes on how everyone should be educated on drug prevention. I was able to use my public relation practices I learned at Slippery Rock University to this nonprofit to help reach more Butler county community members.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Having first attended a Reality Tour, as well as interned for CANDLE, Inc., I can say that this non-profit is amazing in-and-out with the work that they do for families and the community. While we all hope that no one we know or love is subject to drugs or drug abuse, it is an epidemic that needs to be known and understood by all parents and children. The dedication that the executive director, tour directors, and volunteers hold is the power behind what is making a difference in all of the communities that Reality Tour can reach. Not only do the tours open the eyes of parents, but their children as well which is equally important and beneficial. The tour shines a light on not only what can come of drug abuse, but ways to prevent it within each household. I have a younger brother who is soon to be attending the Reality Tour in Murrysville and I am more than excited for him, as well as my parents, to have the eye-opening and informational experience that Reality Tour gives. After working for this amazing cause, and seeing the impact it has on others, as well as myself, I would recommend it to any and everyone.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I just scheduled my our second trip to the Reality Tour in Greensburg - this time with my daughter. We attended 4 years ago with my son who was 13 at the time. It was very impactful. While we never believed (as no one ever does) that our children would ever get into drugs, we know 100% they will be in a situation where they might be able to use the information they gain through the Reality Tour. We're taking the preventative approach.

Thank you for the work that you do for this program AND for being parent partners in helping my children to be informed as to the dangers with all drugs.

Diane192

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Thank you SO much for organizing the Reality Tour! I thought I was up to date on what was going on in the dark realm of drugs and other inhibitors, but boy was I wrong. This was very well put together. The action skit, the videos, and the live testimonies all had so much information, and those boys from George Junior just tore my heart up. So young, and so brave to share their story so another child will not have to walk in their shoes. I just can't express how much I appreciate the hard work everyone put into this event!!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

We brought our 13 year old to the Reality Tour not knowing what to expect. I have to say that this was a very powerful experience for myself, my son and my wife! The powerful content of this tour is right on target and much needed for all of our children. We will be referring our youth group as well as our Celebrate Recovery family to this mission. Thank you!

Ken_57

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Reality Tour held by CANDLE, Inc. on September 12, 2016 was an amazing and memorable experience. Previous to attending I had heard that the Reality tour was very powerful and the message was well done. After attending I can say that it far surpassed my expectations, was very powerful, and was done in a very nice way. All parts of the Tour were impactful but the most powerful were the interviews with a retired PA State Trooper and also interviews with young individuals from a correctional facility who were there because of involvement with drugs from a very young age. I must thank the CANDLE, Inc organization for providing this service to the community.

1

Former staff

Rating: 5

Having both worked for CANDLE, Inc. and attended Reality Tour, I can honestly say this is an amazing non-profit and program. The drug epidemic across the country is growing each day and the passionate people that run CANDLE, Inc and Reality Tour are desperate to stop it. The Reality Tour program really opens up the communication lines between parents and children so they are comfortable talking about drugs. It also shows the consequences and provides coping skills. Something that I found very influential about the program is the talks from law enforcement and at risk youth. It shows parents that this is happening in their own community and kids that this problem could happen to them. Overall I highly recommend the program, it has made an impact on my life and I'm sure countless others as well.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I'm a mom of three kids now 22,20,15 All of whom experienced the reality tour with a group of friends when they went to Middle school. THEY STILL talk about. The older two successfully avoided the trap of drugs as did the students/friends they attended with. We were talking about it the other day and the 20 year old remembered the Jail. "there was a person behind the glass, they had tennis shoes like mine, I realized they had lost all their freedom and I didn't ever want to end up there," Now in college entering into her Junior year...the memory is vivid. She continues to avoid the path that drugs could take her. The 15 year old said the funeral is what cinched it for her. She said, "Looking at the body and knowing people were missing their friend I didn't want to lose a friend to something stupid like drugs or want people looking at me in a casket and wondering how I could have been so stupid." As a parent I remember grilling the students who were in recovery and asking them HOW did your parents MISS this? They willingly shared with me their tips and tricks on how they got away with it...I am grateful. To this day...if my kids go somewhere and call me on the cell, I ask to speak to their friend or friends parent from the cell...to be assured they are where they say they are...they know it will happen...no need to try to be deceptive. My son is pursing a career in law enforcement...he remembers the question about giving something up for 6 weeks and thinking as a child what it would be like to never have pizza again, or some other enjoyable thing. They drew the parallel about why "try something" that could become addictive to have to live the rest of your life NEVER experiencing it again..to the point of having to experience extreme pain because a narcotic could contribute to a relapse. For my olders its been 7 and almost 10 years and THE REALITY tour is still shaping their thought process about drugs and their use. I am thankful that so far their path has strayed away from the destructive one involving drug use. Those morphed images of their photos are etched into their minds as something to avoid. As homeschooled students the olders never encountered the peer pressure that kids grew up with. The REALITY TOUR prepared them for what peers can do. They have the ability to pull you down...or lift you up and out of the pit and away from the drug scene. Kudos to a program that makes a difference and leaves an impact. Our family is proof!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

This experience hits hard from all different angles. Hopefully by showing how drugs affect all of our lives in today's world the message will get across to youths and adults. By showing the skits, the movie, and talks from law enforcement and recovering addicts I am hopeful that something will touch a nerve and make a difference.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I attended a Reality Tour in Mars on June 9th. I was astonished and surprised at just how influential and educational Reality Tour is. The dramatic scenes, although put on by volunteers, were fabulous and really got their messages across. Another great aspect was hearing from two boys from George Junior. Their stories were so inspirational and I know their wasn't a dry eye in the entire audience after one of the boys explained he will be leaving George Junior soon as a changed man and is headed to the army. I think this experience was a great learning exercise and all parents should consider taking their kids to this wonderful program.

1

Client Served

Rating: 4

The Reality Tour is a wonderful opportunity to open communications with your child about drugs if you haven't already. Providing real life situations, video commentary, as well as first hand experience of what life is like to be a "user". This program exceeded my expectations and gave my daughter and I plenty to talk about on the ride home as well as share with other family members at home. As a parent I really appreciated the tips given by the instructor, police officer and former abusers. Worth checking out and quite possibly saving the life of a friend or family member. Thank You!

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I attended the final tour @ BVA and was truly moved when listening to the mom give her gut wrenching story followed by her son who is in recovery. Every person in the audience had tears in their eyes. Thanks to all the volunteers who work tirelessly to educated families about this horrible epidemic.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a PR intern at CANDLE for the spring of 2016. My name is Samantha and I’m a graduating senior at Slippery Rock University. My experience here has been great so far. I’ve been put in charge of reaching out to potential leads and working extensively on their Fun Fore All Fundraiser. I feel like CANDLE has offered me many opportunities to grow not only as an intern, but an individual as well. Everyone is so passionate about the cause and truly wants to make a difference in the lives of families. Working at an organization with such a great message has been very rewarding. Also, having been through the Reality Tour, I highly recommend the experience to all families.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I attended the reality tour last Thursday. I was not really sure what to expect, but I left with a wealth of knowledge about drugs and drug prevention for teens. I learned more about drug prevention in three hours than anything I have found on the internet or in school. I recommend this program for any pre-teen and their parents. This is a wonderful program for a family to make sure the whole family is on the same page and feel comfortable about talking about drugs. This tour gives you the reality of what happened when you get caught up in drugs. It gives a glimpse of a teens life struggles on drugs and it is very eye opening. Lastly, the part of the program I found to be most helpful was the Q and A with two teens who are in a correction facility and they talked about their lives on drugs. I though that it was very beneficial to hear how drugs are prevalent with teens first hand. Overall, this is a wonderful and very knowledge program. I recommend anyone to go.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Our children "hear" and are taught about the dangers of drugs and alcohol, but this program let them actually "see" the devastating effects drugs and alcohol have on them. Our family attended this program a few years ago, and now our oldest son is in high school. Our kids know the dangers, but you are always going to have peer pressure or that 1 person, whether it be a close friend or someone they date, that may have that special hold over them and can talk them into trying something they really know they shouldn't do. For this reason, I have tried to give my sons a way out and told them to tell their friends that their mother "drug tests" them, and if they ever got caught, they would have to reveal the name of the person who gave them the drugs. My boys liked having that idea as an option if a simple "no" didn't work, so I just order the drug testing kit which makes it official--I contacted Candle, Inc. and was given a 50% off coupon since we attended the Reality Tour. They send random drug testing notifications which my sons have agreed to take. This way, my kids really do have a way out if they need it. Should they refuse, then I will know something is up. It's a win, win situation!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering for 2 years with the Reality Tour. I started volunteering after I took my daughter to the Reality Tour in 6th grade. It is just a phenomenal program for both parents and students to create understanding and awareness of drug influence in the area. It helps educate what drugs to be aware of and the serious consequences of taking drugs. I am still impacted as a parent every time I volunteer.

1 Sheila50

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Reality Tour is amazing. I've attended the program years ago with my son and recently with my 6th grade daughter. I can't say enough about the program. It is professional run and very educational for the students and parents. Keep up the amazing job!

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Ive taken both of my daughters through the reality tour. Its an excellent program making a great impact on our kids and community.

1 Ann_62

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer for over 10 years and have had so many positive experiences, from the camaraderie with the other volunteers, to the hugs and comments from the attendees during the tour. I can't say how many times people have told me that they attended years ago, and how important it was for them and their children. Please, do yourself a favor - take your child to Reality Tour. And, if you are looking for purpose or involvement in a community - consider volunteering. There are many ways in which you can help. Thank you for taking the time to read this. Have a great day.

Previous Stories
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Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered at CANDLE, mostly the Butler Reality Tour, for 10 years now. I can't tell you how many families have come up and held me at the end of the dramatic scenes and thanked me for our efforts, saying that they know this will make a difference in the lives of their children. I have had a friend's child, going off to college years after attending the Reality Tour, tell me that he never tried drugs and didn't intend to, because he was sincerely impacted by the facts he learned that evening with his parents. I also work all day at a not for profit community, and have had co-workers approach me asking for information about what they can do with their children. This is a tremendous resource for the community, brought about by people who just sincerely care about children and families having the information they need to keep themselves healthy. Bring your family! You will be glad you did.

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General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

After reading that five young people had overdosed in a little over a week in our area, I am so glad to have the Reality Tour in our area. It provides a great opportunity to help kids before they get hooked! As my mom used to say, Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure, and in this case it is so more possible.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a volunteer Tour Director and Board Member, I occasionally have the privilege to attend open houses at different elementary schools in our area. Two things consistently stand out at these open houses: the number of parents who have already been through Reality Tour with their older children and can't wait to bring their younger children; and the number of parents who have not yet been through Reality Tour but have heard so many positive comments from friends and neighbors who have. I almost forgot, there are three things. The last is how many parents make a point to stop and thank us for providing Reality Tour to their families.

I could not put a price on any of the above.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a tour director for a number of years and always look forward to each presentation. The reactions that we get from the young people and parents who attend each program constantly motivates me and reinforces the knowledge that we are doing the right thing, every time, all the time. Our message is consistent, timely and another educational tool to help families cope with the scourge that wants to get its grip into our children.

Read more

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I'm a ninth grader who attended the reality tour and it was one of the greatest programs I have attended in years. The reality tour explains drugs way better than a school and I recommend it to anyone.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter attended the tour in 2006. She was so deeply affected that she wanted to volunteer. What a wonderful experience and learning opportunity for her. She has been blessed tie share her knowledge with others and , hopefully, make a positive impact in their lives

3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Reality Tour was phenomenal! It was so beneficial for my 11-year-old child. The tour gave real life examples of how drugs can turn your world around for the worse. The presentation was informational and hearing the two recovering addicts speak was helpful, too. Thank you to everyone who makes this possible. Every child should experience this with at least one parent. It will open the lines of communication as well. Thank you!

Tara44

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a volunteer, I have to say it is so rewarding to see the amount of families that come in and have their lives changed. You can clearly see the positive effects that it has on pre-teens/teens by observing their behavior before the tour starts and after it is concluded.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was the PR intern for CANDLE Inc. during my spring semester 2015. My name is Kaila and I am a graduating senior from Slippery Rock University. Being the intern for such a great cause really made this experience memorable. During my internship my main focus was to keep the social media accounts: Facebook and Twitter up-to-date. I also did written work, design work and other tasks throughout my internship. The wide variety of opportunities that was available for me to be part of was a great learning experience and a huge step forward for me when entering the professional world. I highly recommend CANDLE as a nonprofit that allows for a great internship!

Jen_51

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I attended the Reality Tour with my 2 children ages 12 and 16. This is by far the best drug prevention program out there today. It was truly eye opening for not only my children but for myself as well. I have shared the experience with many people and they plan on signing up to attend. I think all schools should make this a mandatory program for students.

Client Served

Rating: 4

I recently attended the Reality Tour with my husband and our two sons (ages 11 and 14). We found this program to be very educational. The volunteers did a wonderful job of conveying a lot of information about drug use in a way that captured the attention of kids and adults alike. I am so grateful to our school district for promoting this important organization - I really believe that if everyone took the time to attend a Reality Tour, the drug problems in our communities would diminish greatly. I highly recommend this program for anyone with teens and pre-teens.

Comments ( 1 )

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normanorris 03/19/2015

CANDLE, Inc. meets with Seneca Valley School Administrators next Wednesday to plan for access to Reality Tour for next school year. We will be sure to pass along your comment . Thanks for attending.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I attended the Reality Tour with my 11yr old son. Several of his friends also attended with their parents. It was very informative for both the kids and the adults, I did not realize how much I didn't know about what is going on with drugs. The biggest benefit of this program for us was that it opened up communication for our family. I hope every family gets to attend this amazing program!

Comments ( 1 )

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normanorris 12/18/2014

Thanks for taking the time to add your comments so other parents can be inspired to take their child. It is our mission to let parents know about the changing drug trends - it is fairly stunning what is happening with designer drugs and people transitioning from Rx pain pills to heroin etc.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

The reality tour is something every child should attend and every school district should pay for! Theses are the things that impacted my daughter the most, the tour it's self is an A+. The mother screaming and crying at the emerg room scene impacted me as well as her. The talk by the recovering addicts and the detective held her attention, even the movie kept her interest but when it came to the talk by the director and the gentleman who is in charge of drug prevention, she did not remember a word that was said. After about 2hours she was getting bored. (Which is about the attention level of any 6th or 7th grader.) I have recommended this to many of my friends.

Comments ( 1 )

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normanorris 12/17/2014

Thank you for attending Reality Tour with your child and for offering a review recommending the program. Agreed...at times the attention of youth attending can waiver while we present vital information that speaks mainly to parents. In the coming weeks, you may be surprised at what your child actually did take in during the family coping skills segment. Just being present while parenting skills are covered can result in a better acceptance on the part of the child when those skills are implemented in the home. Thanks for participating!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Hi,

I just want to let you know that this was a very educational for me, my husband and duaghter. I was not a very good child and I really thought I knew a good bit regarding drugs. I had some friends die from drugs and alcohol. I was very lucky and cleaned my act up however now that I have children I thought I new what to look for. After your tour I was completely wrong.

I really think every parent should attend this tour and not just once. I think that they should attend every couple or so years. I have a child that is 19 and I know things have changed since I was a kid. I also have a child age 11 and it changed from my oldest.

Please keep up the great work. My daughter thanked me for taking her. It really did opens some great line of communication.

Thanks,

Tammy Hoffer

Volunteer

Rating: 5



It was an absolute honor for me to be part of the Reality Tour group last night. From the very beginning with the boy scouts, the very excellent film and right up to the very end at the viewing I felt involved in the life of the girl (on the tape).
I watched the faces of the kids and although you cannot always read, I read enough to tell me that the message was making a deep impression.
The viewing was so real, the mirror made such a dramatic impact. I know I was moved by it but in watching the parents and kids standing at the casket you could almost sense the shock as they looked in the mirror.

THE TOUR MAKES AN IMPACT and if the message sinks in to hopefully most, then it is a "life success".

Thank you for welcoming me.

Dori Daigle

Comments ( 1 )

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normanorris 10/08/2014

Dori, Thanks so much for taking the time to attend Reality Tour and your offer to volunteer. We have such a great team, I am sure you will enjoy working with them. Next Reality Tour at the courthouse site is Tuesday, October 28th, 6pm. It is totally booked, as is the November and December Reality Tour! Regards, Norma Norris Executive Director CANDLE, Inc.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been working with the Reality tour for over a year and I have had the opportunity to see first hand how it changes lives. I also work at George Junior Republic where the majority of the speakers come from to speak about their life experiences with drugs or alcohol. I recently had a youth who has spoken 4 different times at Reality Tours make a great connection with a member of the audience who wanted to hire him to work with him once he is discharged from George Junior. This connection has done amazing things for the youth's attitude and I am proud to see how a member of our community can see the true potential in a youth from GJR. A huge thank you to the Reality Tour for letting the GJR youth speak and share their stories, this not only helps with their public speaking skills but also with their communication skills and confidence.

Donor

Rating: 5

By donating our services to transport students and their parents to there Reality Tours we are able to extend our commitment to safety. Getting these students to these tours may help keep so many of the students safe from drugs and the downward spiral effect they have on our entire society.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I first encountered Candle Inc and Norma at a reality tour through an internship. I'm currently in school for addiction counseling and absolutely loved the program and everything it stood for. After seeing one reality tour I knew I wanted to be involved in more. Drug prevention is very important to me and I fully stand behind everything Candle Inc is about and strongly suggest it to others!