CCCF Is Helping Organize a Community to Fight Drug Abuse
It all started with a letter to the editor. About two years ago, attorney Charles “Skip” Mooney, Jr. wrote a guest editorial in the Jonesboro Sun arguing that drug abuse isn’t just the problem of individuals or families; it affects the health of the whole community. The community got the message, and when Mooney organized a meeting to discuss drug abuse in Craighead County, almost 300 people turned out.
| Members of Brookland High School’s Out of the Dark Club perform a skit to educate their peers about the dangers of drug abuse.
From that meeting, the Out of the Dark organization was formed. Volunteers stood ready to serve, eight schools started Out of the Dark chapters to raise awareness and local civic groups contacted the organization to hear about its plans and how they could help. The momentum was there, and Craighead County Community Foundation (CCCF) helped provide the means to organize the groundswell of individual interest into a community movement.
CCCF’s board members took an interest in the project and encouraged Out of the Dark to apply for nonprofit tax status so it could begin to raise funds. Next, CCCF assisted Out of the Dark in securing an office space and convened leaders from Out of the Dark, Arkansas Community Foundation and Arkansas State University for a planning session.
Now, with a $2,500 grant from CCCF to hire a facilitator for a strategic planning process, Out of the Dark is defining its goals and preparing to take action against drug abuse. “They’re on the road, and we hope that our $2,500 will give them a strategic plan,” said CCCF Executive Director Barbara Weinstock.