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.
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.
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.
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"!
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.
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.
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!
SAFE works across the spectrum of needs of those who have dealt with, are dealing with, or are working to avoid becoming ensnared in the various types of substance abuse. Committed volunteers are the key to the programs and services. It's a great organization and has helped many in the community to have better, substance-abuse-free lives.
This past summer I worked for SAFE as an intern collecting data about DUI's in our area. The more I researched the more interested I became myself. It was a huge learning experience and it validated the need for an organization like SAFE to dedicate itself to making the public aware and working to make our communities a safer place. SAFE creates programs designed to specific age groups and/or demographics to better inform us about alcohol and substance abuse in general. Once you are aware of the statistics and need for SAFE you will want to support this organization and its commitment to making a difference.
SAFE has done a great job in presenting education to providers who prescribe opioids in Chesterfield County. By raising their awareness and by teaching safe prescribing strategies SAFE has not only made strides in establishing best practices for prescribers but also has made the county a safer place in which those in legitimate need of management of chronic pain can receive relief.
I was originally introduced to SAFE a few years ago through an individual that approached me at the annual YADAPP conference, which is something that I have been involved with since high school. My participation began on a small scale - I sat in on a few meetings and worked with the county police on their underage buying program. Before long, though, I was able to commit more time to the organization and thus became involved with the Marketing Committee. Just recently, I began volunteering with the Underage Drinking Task Force, another committee in the organization that is focused on eliminating the underage drinking problem that is so prevalent in our community.
Although I have been involved with SAFE for a relatively short period of time, I have had the wonderful opportunity to see first-hand the dedication and drive that the many members of this organization possess. The executive director, Wayne Frith, is truly passionate about eliminating the substance abuse problems that plague our community and school system, as are the other staff members that comprise SAFE. The campaign against inhalant abuse, which has been recognized on a national level for its effectiveness, was just one of a myriad of ideas that originated within the walls of this organization's headquarters. A recent effort to contain the A/C refrigerant abuse problem within our area was also a resounding success, as has been the ongoing campaign against underage drinking. All in all, SAFE is an incredible organization that has changed the lives of countless numbers of individuals throughout the Richmond Metro area. If our model were able to be replicated across the United States, there is no telling how many lives could be saved on a daily basis. I am truly proud to say that I am involved with such a wonderful group of individuals!