Today we’re proud to feature a local non-profit organization called the Casa Grande Alliance. Their office is located right next door to ours! We were honored when they invited us to share Spark a Smile with local community leaders, and thanks to their interest, we were able to share SAS with many more people. Thank you, CGA!
Here’s a bit more information about the CG Alliance, in an interview with their director, Mrs. Cindy Schaider.
What’s the CG Alliance all about?
The mission of the CG Alliance is to create partnerships and work together to reduce substance abuse and violence among youth and adults. In short: partnering for a safe and drug-free community. Using best practices and research-based strategies, we work to make the environments where children and families live, play and work become both drug free and resilient to negative influences. We also believe strongly in the value of collaboration across communities, so we support the growth and development of other prevention projects and coalitions. The role of our staff is to facilitate collaboration; provide community, youth and employer education on substance abuse and recovery; and serve as a resource and information center for anyone looking for treatment. While we do not provide counseling, we can help those seeking recovery, and their families, navigate the sometimes complex treatment systems of care.
How long has the Alliance been in Casa Grande?
We started in 1989, and became ‘turbo charged’ in 2003 when we received a 10-year grant from the Office of National Drug Control Policy’s Drug Free Communities Support program.
Wow! That’s a great legacy you’ve created. What types of people do you interact with most (kids, teens, parents)?
We serve all community members.
Tell us about some of the Alliance’s most significant accomplishments.
In 2006, methamphetamine use by 8th graders in Casa Grande was 6.8%, 325% higher than the state average for that age group. Through community education to both youth and adults, as well as other community strategies like reducing access to the precursor chemicals needed to make meth, we have reduced meth use to zero percent among all teens. Underage drinking has also greatly reduced over the past ten years, and the culture of underage drinking has changed; there are fewer incidences of teen drunk driving and drunken desert parties with underage kids.
What an amazing thing you’ve done for our community. Is there any way Spark a Smile can help the Alliance keep up their great efforts?
We like to recognize our members who are featured in the newspaper, whether just tagged in a photo or who are featured in an article. We would love to have Spark a Smile cards to send to these folks – we enclose a copy of the article or picture with a card that says congratulations.
You can find the Alliance online at: www.casagrandealliance.org
Thank you so much for your time, Mrs. Schaider, and for all the great things that the CGA is doing to improve our community!