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CHILL looks for alternate funding
Friday, December 27, 2013
By PAUL COLLINS - Bulletin Staff Writer
CHILL youth task force has begun fund raising because a federal grant that supports it will run out Sept. 30, 2014.
The federal Drug Free Community Support Grant has funded most of CHILL’s budget for nine years and cannot be renewed past 10 years, according to Bonnie Favero, prevention manager at Piedmont Community Services, and Katie Connelly, community organizer for prevention for PCS and coordinator of CHILL/HEY.
CHILL stands for Communities Helping Improve Local Lives, and HEY! (Helping Empower Youth) is an adult coalition that supports and partners with CHILL.
In the fiscal 2013-14 budget for CHILL and HEY, funding includes $125,000 from the federal grant, which requires a 125 percent in-kind match, such as volunteer hours, meeting space and other grants or local funding, Connelly said. It also has a $17,500 Tobacco Use Control Project grant through the Virginia Department of Health.
“We have an unbelievable amount of (volunteer) hours — over a thousand hours just for the youth rally,” Connelly said, referring to an annual event designed to encourage youths to make positive choices.
CHILL and HEY are developing a fund-raising plan, she said. “I don’t think anything is off the table. We would welcome resources.”
“We’re thinking it’s going (to take) about $85,000 a year” after the federal funding runs out, according to Connelly.
“We still want to try to do the same things, but not as much,” she said. One thing that might have to go is bringing in a national speaker, which can cost $10,000, Connelly said.
Among the fund-raising ideas are to find sponsors for major events (such as the Youth Rally and Paint the Town 5K) and to seek funding from civic organizations for students to attend leadership conferences, she said. The CHILL alumni association wants to begin a campaign to provide funding for CHILL member training, meetings and activities.
Other governmental grants will be sought (such as Tobacco Use Control grant and funding from Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control), as will funds from local foundations, Connelly said.
Also, she said, people can make donations online at heymhc.org or by mail to Piedmont Community Services/CHILL, 24 Clay St., Martinsville, Va. 24112, attention: Renee LaPrade.
“We’re hoping our community will keep supporting our youth,” Connelly said.
According to information Connelly provided, since 2002, HEY has supported and partnered with CHILL youth in promoting youth development and in planning and implementing with them science-based substance abuse prevention strategies, including:
• Supported the training of about 700 high school students for the CHILL youth task force.
• Developed and distributed parenting packets and helpful tips on substance abuse prevention to area parents.
• Family Day —A Day to Eat Dinner with Your Kids was celebrated several years.
• None for the Road/Drunk-Drugged Driving Prevention.
• Developed several parents’ media campaigns.
• Annual Positive Choices for Youth Day — proclamations, billboards, Youth Rally and Teen Life Maze with the help of more 20 groups and agencies and CHILL. Help support Positive Choices for Youth Week before the rally.
• Supported CHILL in many activities and events, such as smoke-free nights at the football games, “5th quarter” events and other substance-free alternatives for area youth.
• Helped sponsor with CHILL Youth Summits for middle school students.
• Sent HEY and CHILL members to CADCA (Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America) conference in Washington, D.C., for the last several years.
• Brought Rachel’s Challenge (anti-bullying), through a Harvest Foundation grant, to four schools.
• Town hall meetings on alcohol, town hall meeting on methamphetamine.
• Worked with local law enforcement and ABC to develop plans for a crackdown on underage drinking parties and sponsored Underage Drinking News Conference with local law enforcement.
• Two Piedmont Alcohol Awareness Conference day-long events bringing 12 sectors of the community together to work on underage drinking and drug use in the community.
• Started Mothers Against Drunk Drivers Chapter.
• Active in smoking prevention issues that have moved toward policy changes. Provided hundreds of quit smoking kits to area teens and adults.
• Helped advertise and hold Drug Take Back Day several years with law enforcement for area residents to safely dispose of unwanted prescription drugs. Sponsored with other area groups a prescription drug forum for local physicians, dentists and pharmacists
• Helped sponsor with CHILL a new JV CHILL in area middle schools.