Carter County Drug Prevention seeks expansion, sustainability with new grant

Carter County Drug Prevention is seeking a $125,000 grant, and while they are planning to use the money to further some of their programs for the next year, Director Jilian Reece said they also want to use the opportunity to pursue a higher degree of financial sustainability as an organization.

Reece said currently their only official source of funding comes through the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services.

“Our goal is to have a couple of sources available,” Reece said.

This push for a larger degree of autonomy, she said, is partly inspired by a desire to grow and expand as an organization, expressed in moves such as forming a second youth coalition to attract specific age groups of children in Carter County.

“To be sustainable, we need to not have all our eggs in one basket,” she said.

Currently, she said she plans to use the Drug-free Communities Grant money for at least two projects, one of those being the creation of an online training center for organizations across the county to use.

“We would have someone develop the program for us,” Reece said. “There would be a module for parents and one for students.”

She said this push for an online resource comes from difficulties in reaching farther out communities in the county.

“A personal struggle of mine is we do not always reach outlying communities,” she said. “These places are often a 30-minute drive away. We are not able to get to everybody physically.”

With an online resource, she said, this would greatly expand their reach.

In addition, Reece said they also want to create a robust mentor program for the youth, both group-based and one-on-one systems.

She said she is still grateful for the individual grants and donations CCDP has received from the community.

“We are grateful for United Way [and other grants],” Reece said. “We just want to be proactive. Over the next year, we really want to raise funds to be more sustainable.”

She said the organization is grateful for anyone who wants to donate time, money or both, as CCDP continues to expand its efforts across the county.

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