First Touch Sports partners with SAFE to reach and teach young people about the dangers of using alcohol, tobacco and drugs. Their Teen Ambassador program is an effective way to use high school students as positive role models for 5th grade students. The youth that we have participating in First Touch Sports look forward to serving as Teen Ambassadors and learn as much as the student they work with. SAFE is also proving to be very forward thinking in their approach to reaching young people through sports. It makes sense to meet people where they are and to help healthy kids get the real facts about use among teens and to stay healthy and avoid peer pressure.
The Chesterfield Health District Medical Reserve Corps has partnered with Chesterfield SAFE on several projects and most recent the "Keep Your Meds SAFE" campaign. SAFE has proven to be a valuable resource to local communities as well as local government. SAFE is a compassionate non-profit organization that is detailed goal orientated while establishing relationships which is the foundation of a non-profit organization such as SAFE. Keep up the good work!
I am amazed at the incredible impact Substance Abuse Free Environment, Inc., or SAFE, a Chesterfield, VA coalition, has had in reducing inhalant abuse among county youths. SAFE’s Inhalant Abuse Prevention Initiative resulted in past 30-day use among eighth-graders falling from 8.2 percent in 2005 to 4.5 percent in 2007 and to 3.0 percent in 2010. This represents a 63 percent reduction over five years, which is markedly lower than the national average of 4.1 percent. Another successful intitiative included partnering with HVAC companies to install locking caps on air conditioner units to prevent unauthorized access by youths who inhale the refrigerant - which could be deadly. This environmental approach has drawn the attention of the White House - The Office of Drug Control Policy noted this environmental approach in its newsletter. By bringing the community together - county departments, nonprofit organizations, businesses, residents and the faith-based community - initiatives are established that bring positive results. Not only has SAFE helped make county youths safer and healthier, but they have earned international respect and are sought-after speakers on drug-prevention issues. I encourage others to get involved with SAFE.
As a local elected official, I have been impressed by the strong partnerships across all community sectors that have been established and sustained by SAFE. Through these efforts we have seen true community change, such as significant reductions in inhalant abuse among eighth-graders and reductions in sales of alcohol to underage buyers.