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Vashon Alliance To Reduce Substance Abuse -VARSA

Working to reduce underage drug and alcohol use

aka VARSA   |   VASHON ISLAND, WA   |  www.varsanetwork.org

Mission

Vashon Alliance to Reduce Substance Abuse – VARSA – is a community volunteer organization concerned for the health and wellness of Vashon Island youth. Our mission is to reduce and prevent underage drug use by engaging, educating and empowering all sectors of our community.

Ruling year info

2015

President

Scott Rice

Main address

PO BOX 2341

VASHON ISLAND, WA 98070 USA

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EIN

46-4017368

NTEE code info

Children's and Youth Services (P30)

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (O01)

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (O01)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Guiding Good Choices Parent Education

Guiding Good Choices (GGC) is a drug use prevention program that provides parents of children in grades 4-8 (10-14 years old) with the knowledge and skills needed to guide their children through early adolescence. It seeks to strengthen and clarify family expectations for behavior, enhance the conditions that promote bonding within the family, and teach skills that allow children to resist drug use successfully.

Population(s) Served
Parents
Ethnic and racial groups

At McMurray Middle School, the substance use prevention work is done primarily through Sources of Strength, a program designed to empower peer leaders to spread the positive message of hope, help and strength. Sources of Strength is a strength-based, comprehensive wellness program that focuses on suicide prevention but impacts other issues such as substance use and violence. The program is based on a relational connections model that uses teams of peer leaders mentored by adult advisors to change peer social norms about help seeking and encourages students to individually assess and develop strengths in their life.
Trained peer leaders use their network of friends to:
Have one-on-one conversations.
Develop Hope, Help, and Strength messages using local faces and voices.
Present peer-to-peer presentations and school-wide campaigns.

Population(s) Served
Adolescents
Children of LGBTQ parents
Foster and adoptive children
Transitioning children

Where we work

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

VARSA's goals are to measurably reduce youth substance use on Vashon Island, Washington. We use the biennial Healthy Youth Survey (given to all Vashon public school 6th-12th grade students) to track data over time. We have seen a clear reduction in use over the 15 years that this data has been tracked. We also work to bring mental health support to Vashon youth through our programs and partnerships with other Island, county, and state organizations.

We deliver free evidence-based programs to both youth and parents, helping to affirm wise choices and positive parenting. We run community-wide positive social norm campaigns and offer assistance such as free prescription lock boxes. We offer free community trainings for adults to assist youth in crisis, and will be offering a teen mental health class to all 10th grade students in 2023.

VARSA is funded through Washing State Healthcare Authority prevention funding, smaller local grants, and donations. We have used some of these funds to train our staff in a variety of direct services to youth and adults. We are well-set to meet the need and our goals for the sustainable future.

We run a successful suicide prevention program in our middle school - Sources of Strength - which teaches positive mental health and resilience. Started in 2016 with grant funds, this is an integral part of the middle school culture. Our parent program - Guiding Good Choices - has taught many Island parents over the last 10 years, and has highly qualified instructors and good feedback from past participants. Our Youth Mental Health First Aid course - for adults who interact with youth - has taught over 200 Islanders, giving them tools and confidence to step in to help a youth experiencing a mental health crisis. Overall, VARSA has developed into a well-known organization for helping the community with youth substance use concerns and positive social activities.

Financials

Vashon Alliance To Reduce Substance Abuse -VARSA
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Vashon Alliance To Reduce Substance Abuse -VARSA

Board of directors
as of 10/24/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Scott Rice

The Real Estate Company

Term: 2018 -

Pascal Py

Pascal Py Construction

Dr. Jessica Wesch

Seamar Health

Lee Kimzey

Jeni Johnson

Vashon Youth and Family Services

Paul Tegenfeldt

Pastor Luke Tedder

Bethel Evangelical Free Church

Dr. Slade McSheehy

Vashon Island School District

Charlie Krimmert

Law Inforcement Liaison

Jim Marsh

John L. Scott Realty

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 11/22/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

Transgender Identity

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data