COLUMBUS, Ind., September 27, 2018 – Project Prevent programming is successfully reaching a wide range of community populations, from preschoolers to grandparents. Twenty-five projects are currently underway, benefiting from approximately $95,000 in grants from the Heritage Fund and ASAP program that supports programming to spread knowledge about the appropriate uses of opioids. The grant program, which launched in April, is made possible through the Mark and Wendy Elwood Substance Abuse Prevention Fund.
“We started Project Prevent in hopes that Bartholomew County will become the most knowledgeable community in the state about opioids,” said Jeff Jones, executive lead for ASAP. “Organizations like Foundation For Youth, Family Service, African American Pastors Alliance and Mill Race Center have the opportunity to reach large numbers of people with important educational messages. We are grateful for their help.”
Examples of Project Prevent programs include a resource person for preschool teachers who deal with developmental delays caused by drug-related issues who will provide suggestions and guidance for programs at First Presbyterian, First Christian and First United Methodist churches.
Thrive Alliance is hosting a Grandparent’s Day for grandparents who are raising grandchildren, a situation that can be triggered by parents’ substance abuse issues. The celebration will provide speakers who have raised children of family members as well as activities for children and a meal.
Two high school seniors are working on their Senior Projects in the substance abuse area with the help of Bartholomew Consolidated School Foundation. One project targets teens in recovery. Su Casa is sponsoring another project that will help teens develop videos to increase awareness and will host a “red carpet” event at YES Cinema.
Tracy Souza, president and CEO of Heritage Fund, encourages all nonprofit and tax-exempt organizations to think about creative ways to reach their audiences with important messages about substance abuse.
Turning Point is hosting family game nights to encourage families to spend time together and promote positive interactions. Free games will be distributed to participants. A follow-up from Turning Point will attempt to measure the impact of the program.
“Not all projects need to reach a large number of people,” said Beth Morris of Healthy Communities. “One small but important project asked for running shoes for a running club for those in recovery to keep its members on a healing path. Healthy Communities is developing a positivity path in Mill Race Park as part of the Walktober activities.”
Projects also include prescription drug lockboxes for people who need secure medicine storage and environmentally responsible drug disposal pouches for those who no longer need medications.
Project Prevent grant proposal guidelines are available on the Heritage Fund website at www.heritagefundbc.org. The program will run through April 2019.