Coalitions in Action: Allies for Substance Abuse Prevention of Anderson County

 

In Tennessee, the Allies for Substance Abuse Prevention of Anderson County took advantage of a prime policy opportunity to better their community and made it their own.

The coalition serves a total population of 75,000 in Anderson County, Tennessee, a suburban and rural area just outside the metro area of Knoxville, Tennessee.

“Last week, our coalition held a fundraiser “#CampingForCommunity,” where we stayed at the courthouse to fill the funding gap for a new program in our community,” said Stephanie Strutner, Executive Director. “Anderson County partners have done an incredible job preventing the onset of adolescent substance use and reducing the prevalence of adolescent substance use; however, we have not made a tremendous impact reducing prevalence of use among our most at-risk adolescents.”

Over the past two years, the coalition tried to secure funds for the comprehensive project through written grant applications, local government appeals and words with civic organizations. While the coalition raised enough money to fund 47 percent of the program, a funding gap remained.

Through the #CampingforCommunity fundraiser, the coalition raised $33,251 in 97 hours. The program, fully funded, is set to launch soon. Community awareness of this initiative has begun.

“We were positioned to make this opportunity successful because we had done our homework,” Strutner said. “It was not a planned event, so it was important that we had already been speaking to the community about this idea.”