Post from Our Blog

Your contributions make our valued work possible!

Maybe you know us for our Refuse to Use Program that utilizes area ski and skate passes as an incentive to provide education and engage young people in healthy activities. We are so proud of this innovative program that has a positive impact on over 400 families in our community yearly.

Or maybe it is our Extended Day Program that provides children with activities after school with which you are most familiar. This program takes pressure off families by allowing  parents to work to support their family while keeping their children engaged in physical and creative activities they enjoy, subtly teaching the value of meaningful engagement and healthy choices. When we take stressors off struggling families it makes it less likely their children will engage in unhealthy behaviors as they grow.

What you may not realize is how much deeper our programming runs and the many ways we help young people and their families navigate the challenges of life.

Hand drawn artwork by youth program participants
A group of elementary school students in a field of green grass under a blue summer sky

Through our work we strive to make the healthy choice the easy choice for young people and families. Because life is full of complicated decisions and we all need support. So, we work with towns and regions to include mental and physical health equity provisions in their planning. We work with employers to provide supportive and recovery-friendly environments. We work to foster restorative justice practices, rather than punitive systems. We work to increase food security because having enough to eat is a basic need that increases overall health. And, we work with area schools to develop scientifically-based policies and procedures for vaping, tobacco or drug related offenses.

There is much more that The Collaborative provides in the way of resources and programs in our local area but we hope this provides enough of a window into our role in helping to create healthy communities of healthy people. We are making a difference. We improve outcomes for our children and young adults, and we improve lives.

We rely on grants for much of our funding, but we need the help of people like you to provide us the margin to end the year in the black and continue our meaningful and important work. Please give as generously as you are able.

Thank you.

Why is substance use prevention education important? Here’s what people are saying!


An eighth grader in our Refuse To Use program:

“I think it is important because:

1) It can show people smart ways of getting through hard times, 

2) It gives a better understanding for others, 

3) It also shows a more positive way of looking at life and how you get through it in general.” 


Parent of a twelfth grader in our Refuse To Use program:

“I think we both know each other more from the program and are more comfortable talking more about substance misuse. The way you did is very good for right now—your program supported my kid to be more cautious about substance misuse. I hope this program will happen every year. It is good for our community.“