Mission Statement and History
As CHILL members, we desire to make positive choices in our own lives, realizing that the underage use of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs can impair us from reaching our goals in life. In addition, we care about the health and safety of our peers and want to communicate to our community the issues concerning youth.
-Adopted in Fall 2002
CHILL was formed in the spring of 2002. Four 3-day trainings were held at Patrick Henry Community College in the summer of 2002 for 47 area youth. The trainings, conducted by the Prevention team of Piedmont Community Services, included such topics as trust and team building, decision making, media influence and the dangers of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs.
Also in 2001, the Youth Interagency Network (YIN), a coalition consisting of representatives from youth-serving organizations from Martinsville and Henry County, adopted the Right Choices for Youth Initiative (RCFY). This is a positive, community-wide approach that provides family and community support necessary for youth to realize their life potential by establishing a clear avoidance message regarding alcohol, drugs, sex, tobacco, and violence. Through this initiative, YIN gave CHILL the seed money to start their substance abuse activities.The Governor's Office for Substance Abuse Prevention (GOSAP) received a $9 million State Incentive Grant (SIG) in October 2000. One of the main goals of the SIG project is to reduce substance abuse among 12-17 year olds by infusing science-based prevention practice throughout the state. Piedmont Community Services was a recipient for one of twenty state grants. In 2001, two science-based programs were selected for the Martinsville-Henry County area to target underage drinking and smoking: Communities Mobilizing on a Change on Alcohol (CMCA) and Life Skills. An adult task force and a youth task force were formed under the CMCA program to help mobilize our community on the issue underage drinking and smoking, as well as other youth issues.
HEY! Helping Empower Youth Community Task Force, also started in 2002, and took a supporting role for CHILL in "empowering" youth to make healthy choices and became an advocate for healthy behaviors and strong family connections. This group of adults who are now called Drug Free MHC, represents all areas of our community: parents, educators, medical, faith, law enforcement, etc.