Coalition of the Year: Link Together Coalition
Link Together Coalition was formed in the Fall of 2010. The coalition serves Wheeling Township, IL, a diverse suburban community, located approximately 29 miles NW of Chicago. The coalition started in response to parental concerns that the community was not providing enough prevention initiatives to empower youth to be drug and alcohol free. Concern arose after a tragic alcohol-related automobile accident which resulted in the death of three teens. The mission of Link Together is to promote healthy youth, families, and communities by decreasing teen alcohol and drug use through education, advocacy, and access to community resources, and policy awareness, implementation, and change.
Link Together Coalition is successful because of our diverse partners, representing all 12 community sectors, and our dynamic Executive Board. The coalition has consistently met its goals and attained measurable results through concentrated initiatives focused on youth, parents, community, ordinances and resources. Link Together uses data from the Illinois Youth Survey, focus groups, parent surveys, key informant interviews and community assessments to guide prevention initiatives and achieve positive outcomes.
Coalition of Excellence: Lindenhurst Community Cares Coalition
Lindenhurst Community Cares Coalition, Inc. (Lindy Cares) was formed in August 2013 when stakeholders came together after a tragic overdose took a 16-year-old honor student's life. A community assessment revealed higher than expected rates of alcohol and drug misuse by youth. The coalition developed a strong awareness campaign to build capacity to implement evidence-based focused interventions using the data collected collaboratively from all sectors to inform and create a community culture to create conditions to reduce misuse. A critical component of our success is giving youth a strong voice, listening to them, and supporting young leaders in planning, action, advocacy, and change. Since the earliest days, our work has grown into community events and campaigns that involve people from all sectors and stem from our members' strength, resilience, and expertise. Our stories are vast, complicated, full of emotion, and varied motivation. Still, we can always come together to form a line of defense against conditions that create barriers to achieving our mission.
Multi-Faceted Vision: Youth-Led Adult Driven, drug, and Alcohol-Free Youth take an active role in creating an environment in which they believe they can thrive as they pursue their highest potential; and
Community members have access to a support network and strive to create a motivational recovery environment in a continuous cycle of improvement toward a higher quality of life for all.
Mission: The mission of the coalition is to provide an opportunity for members of the community to come together, whether you are a resident, parent, youth, business owner, or organization, in offering awareness, knowledge, and education to prevent underage drinking and substance misuse among our youth and adults. The coalition works to create a nurturing environment and encourage citizens to take responsibility for our community members as a whole.
Coalition in Focus: Dedham Organization for Substance Awareness (DOSA)
The Dedham Organization for Substance Awareness (DOSA) is a community coalition that brings together youth, parents, schools, public health, law enforcement, local government, business, and more to collaboratively address substance misuse in Dedham, Massachusetts. In 2018, DOSA received the Drug Free Communities Grant to increase community collaboration and reduce youth substance use in Dedham. We provide information and resources to the community as well as organizing for community and policy change around substance misuse. Our strategies are collaborative, data-driven and grounded in a trauma-informed positive youth development model. During the COVID-19 pandemic, DOSA has continued to engage key stakeholders, youth, and parents through the use of online skill-building webinars, virtual youth education activities, and mass mailings that have provided education and resources to thousands of Dedham residents.