About The Collaborative
With the guiding vision that everyone is a part of a healthy, safe, and supportive community and a mission to empower healthy youth, families, and communities, The Collaborative has been operating as a 501c3 nonprofit serving Windham, Windsor, and Bennington counties in Vermont since 1999.
Everyone is a part of a healthy, safe, and supportive community
Empowering healthy youth, families, and communities
Acceptance ∗ Resilience ∗ Engagement
All children are inherently good
All children, teens and adults may make unhealthy decisions, but will be given the opportunity to make healthy choices with the advocacy and support of The Collaborative
At heart, all parents seek to promote the best interests of their children
When youth and adults are provided enough information and cultural support, they will make healthy decisions to avoid the onset of substance abuse
Positive proactive substance use prevention throughout the entire community will facilitate the development of healthy independent teens
In our communities, each member, organization and system plays an integral role in conveying to youth the clear and consistent message that youth are expected to be substance free and rewarded for their commitment
Our services and public resources are available to all families and individuals
Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging Statement
The Collaborative is committed to creating a welcoming, diverse and inclusive environment for everyone to thrive, honoring all within our organization and the communities we serve.
Our belief is simple and actionable: The Collaborative is better when we embrace each other with open hearts and minds, confront our biases, and take a stand for equity and inclusion.
We are mindful that diversity strengthens the community and our workplace and enhances dialogue. The Collaborative will provide diversity education and training to all, and actively build trust where all belong.
We want to honor the legacy of Vermont’s Indigenous people, the Abenaki People of the Dawn, who have cared for this land for generations and continue to do so. We recognize that colonialism and the oppression of Native peoples are a current and ongoing process, and we commit to building our awareness of our present participation. We pay our respects to the elders past and present. We honor with deep gratitude this land and all it gives us.
We also honor the histories of BIPOC people and acknowledge both the painful history of enslavement and that this country was built on the backs of Black and Brown people.
Building a Community of Preventionists
The Collaborative's energetic team works with diverse communities and partners to achieve shared health and substance misuse prevention goals locally and at the Vermont State level. We bring together traditional and nontraditional groups to ensure that any community member can have a seat at the table to actively engaging in the promotion of prevention in our communities.
Recognized by Vermont State, regional, and local partners as “experts” in our field, The Collaborative is one of the larger substance misuse prevention organizations and mentoring fiscal agents in Vermont. Our work provides a model for how youth, families, communities, and organizations "do" sustainable and data-driven substance misuse prevention. Everyday, our efforts are actively guided by our Mission, Vision, and Belief statements to help us build partnerships, support health policy creation locally and at the State level, and be the catalyst that brings together youth, families, and communities to engage in prevention.
What Prevention Looks Like
We get excited to talk about what substance misuse prevention looks like in our communities! Through our work and the relationships we have built with our diverse partners, here are some examples of what prevention looks like:
- Having a conversation with a store clerk or community member in the checkout line
- Hosting panel discussions with Turning Point Recovery Center of Springfield for middle and high school students
- Running an all-day summer camp for K-8th grade students to help support working families
- Facilitating the Shires Prescription Drug Alliance coalition
- Designing, developing and facilitating vaping prevention and cessation presentations to middle and high school students, parents, and school faculty
- Bringing Restorative Justice and the State’s Attorney together with schools to create a restorative process for students with a substance infraction
- Providing technical assistance to towns when they write town plans and ordinances to help them adopt health language and substance free public spaces
- Collaborating with treatment and recovery professionals, law enforcement agencies, and behavioral and physical health professionals to determine the needs of our counties
- Working with Southern Vermont Medical Center and law enforcement agencies to develop Vermont's first, three-pronged prescription drug collection system and establishing eight permanent medication collection box locations
- Teaming up with Battenkill Valley Health Center to create a lending system for medication lock boxes
Promoting Prevention in Our Communities
Funding Prevention with Small Grants
Partnerships for Success
The Collaborative's Partnerships for Success (PFS) is a grant-funded initiative that focuses on expanding prevention infrastructure in our communities and decreasing use of prescription drugs, alcohol, cannabis, and vaping amoung 9 - 26 year olds. PFS is truly building a community of preventionists in a way that highlights that everyone-including youth, adults, businesses, organizations, and towns-has a role in prevention by supporting education, programming, environmental strategies, and policy development.
Highlights of Partnerships for Success projects include:
- Creating and running positive messaging campaigns targetting young adults and adults to change their perceptions of prescription drug, alcohol, cannabis, and vaping use among peers.
- Strengthening access to local resources with The Map Project, an interactive, digital resources map to help people find local hot spots for art, culture, sports, hobbies, and community services.
- Collaborating with Bennington County Police Department to manage year-round prescription drug disposal boxes at four law enforcement properties, Southwestern Vermont Medical Center, and The Pharmacy's two properties.
- Supporting the LGBTQIA2S+ Advisory that focuses on increasing health equity for the LGBTQIA2S+ community by broadening their voice and access to services while reducing stigma.
Partnerships for Success has awarded small grants to the following community-serving organizations:
- Grantees from the 1st Round of Funding: The Wilson House, Queer Connect
- Grantees from the 2nd Round of Funding: Queer Connect, Kanthaka, Pownal Skate Board Park, United Counseling Services' Teens 4 Change
Supporting Fiscal Agencies
The Collaborative is one of the larger substance misuse prevention organizations and mentoring fiscal agents in the state of Vermont. We are currently the acting fiscal agent for three other nonprofit organizations and provide them with technical assistance through organizational support and oversight, fiscal oversight, and technology support services. We are proud to be working with them and supporting their organizations' missions. We hope you will visit their websites to find out more about the good works they are doing in Vermont to support healthy communities and substance misuse prevention
Contributing to Regional Projects
Green Peak Alliance
The Collaborative is a long-standing and active member of the Green Peak Alliance. Green Peak Alliance is a regional network that promotes healthy communities. Together,we bring federal and state resources to local areas through our work with schools and service organizations. Through research, education, and outreach, we create conditions to positively influence the public by increasing youth assets and reducing risks.
Bennington County Regional Prevention Partnership
The Collaborative is heavily involved in supporting the Bennington County Regional Prevention Partnership's goals and activities. The Bennington County Regional Prevention Partnership is a community health organization that pursues a public health planning process, fostering community action and collaboration to reduce and prevent underage and binge drinking, prescription drug misuse and marijuana misuse at the regional level.
The People Behind The Collaborative's Work
Interested in volunteering with us?
There are plenty of ways to give back to your community and help lead the way in empowering healthy youth, families, and communities! Apply today to volunteer with The Collaborative!