How to Get Involved with Prevention in Your Community

When young people make poor choices like drinking or taking drugs, their decisions affect you; they affect every member of the community. The same is true when a parent is neglectful of his or her child or is unsupportive. When members of a community suffer or make poor choices, everyone else suffers, too, which is why it’s important to be a proactive community member and to get involved with prevention.

What is Walton County Prevention Coalition?

The Walton County Prevention Coalition is an organization dedicated to working with parents, area leaders, and young people to improve and to strengthen the community through positive choices. The WCPC is comprised of Walton County community citizens of all backgrounds and professions. What each of these individuals have in common is a dedication for community enhancement.

How Does Prevention Help?

Not only does prevention help the young people who directly engage with WCPC services and information, prevention also helps the community at large. Data related to the perils of substance abuse verify that. Our studies show that:

·         Walton County residents will lose approximately $7.7 million in personal income

·         Walton County’s Gross Regional Product will suffer a loss of $21.49 million

·         Health care costs will be higher

·         Car accidents and crime rates will go up

·         Unemployment rates and workplace absenteeism will increase

·         Incomes for many will decrease

·         Work quality and productivity among those with issues will suffer

·         Substance abusers will have higher mortality and morbidity rates.

By reducing underage drinking and drug use and by increasing community awareness, we can reverse all of these trends and can improve revenues for the entire county.

How You Can Get Involved

Thus, WCPC is always looking for support from anyone who is interested in helping. Specifically, WCPC seeks those wishing to:

·         Participate in community events

·         Help with awareness campaigns

·         Serve on the board of officers

·         Speak to the public

·         Chaperone youth events

·         Educate decision makers

·         Advocate for policy changes

·         Assist with strategic planning

·         Direct resources

·         Research and analyze data

·         Represent peer organizations

If you are someone who is concerned, who wants to make a difference, who is passionate about saving lives, who takes action, who has conviction in what they believe, and who is willing to volunteer, then you are a great fit for the WCPC.

There are different levels of commitment you can engage in.

·         Supporters are caring citizens who engage with others in conversation about the WCPC and its initiatives, who contact local leaders about the coalition’s activities, and who encourage others to get involved.

·         Volunteers give their time to the coalition by participating in community events, helping with awareness campaigns, researching local data, and more.

·         Active members dedicate support and participation (about 12 hours per year) and help by attending monthly coalition meetings, giving recommendations on prevention efforts, promoting upcoming prevention activities, discussing the need to prevention with others, and recruiting new members.

·         Exceptional members participate on a committee, are involved in prevention initiatives and / or activity planning, volunteer to participate in prevention activities, promote prevention messages to parents and youth, assist with securing grants and other funding, gather and / or analyze local statistics, share prevention information from their organization, and evaluate the WCPC’s prevention efforts.

·         Outstanding members are elected leadership roles, chair appointments, or member organization coordination positions that coordinate the organization’s efforts in compliance with the mission and chair committees.

To get involved, download and fill out the membership form that is available here. Mail or e-mail the form to Bryan Callahan ( or Walton County Prevention Coalition, 3686 U.S. Highway 331 S., DeFuniak Springs, FL 32435).

If you are a concerned and compassionate member of Walton County who knows that every individual’s action impacts the greater community, then visit the Walton County Prevention Coalition website now and learn more about getting involved with prevention in our area.