Substance Abuse Free Environment, Inc.
9700 Krause Road
P.O. Box 40
Chesterfield VA 23832
Mission Statement
The mission of SAFE is to engage our community in working together to prevent and reduce substance abuse. SAFE accomplishes its mission through four key areas: increasing awareness of substance abuse issues to create action for change, developing community partnerships, advocating for policies and practices that reduce substance abuse, and involving youths in  leadership roles to influence their peers and decision makers.
Web and Social Media
SAFE provides information at many community events
CEO/Executive Director Ms. Regina Whitsett Executive Director
Board Chair Mr. Max Morehead
Board Chair Company Affiliation Village Bank
Contact Information
Address 9700 Krause Road
P.O. Box 40
Chesterfield, VA 23832
Telephone 804 796-7100
Fax 804 748-1099
History and Background
Year of Incorporation 1999
Financial Summary
Revenue vs Expense Bar Graph - All Years
Expense Breakdown Bar Chart - All Years
Projected Revenue $292,750.00
Projected Expenses $268,025.00
Additional Documents
Invitation to SAFE Summer Reception2015View
The mission of SAFE is to engage our community in working together to prevent and reduce substance abuse. SAFE accomplishes its mission through four key areas: increasing awareness of substance abuse issues to create action for change, developing community partnerships, advocating for policies and practices that reduce substance abuse, and involving youths in  leadership roles to influence their peers and decision makers.

During the 2013-14 fiscal year, SAFE's top accomplishments have been in the areas of teen leadership, medication abuse prevention, inhalant abuse prevention, marijuana prevention, underage drinking and drinking and driving prevention. SAFE established a Teen Ambassadors/Buddy2Buddy cross-age mentoring program. Trained high school students mentor and build relationships with elementary school students in an after-school setting, serving as positive role models, helping with tutoring and providing an interactive substance abuse prevention lesson. The program received recognition from the White House’s Office of National Drug Control Policy. SAFE has used a multi-pronged approach to decrease medication abuse, including regular medication take-backs (collecting over 6 tons of expired or unneeded medications), holding medication summits, providing community education, training healthcare providers and partnering with physician offices and pharmacies to promote the importance of locking up meds, not sharing them with others and disposing of them properly. SAFE received a National Association of Counties Innovation Award for its partnership with the HVAC community to install locking caps on air conditioning units to prevent huffing of Freon from the service valves, the first initiative of its kind nationwide. This, along with SAFE’s other inhalant prevention efforts, contributed to a 28% decrease in inhalant abuse between 2005 and 2012 among Chesterfield eighth-graders. SAFE received a “Bright Idea” award from the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University for its compliance checks initiative, which resulted a decrease in sales of alcohol to minors from off-site retail outlets from 28% in 2007 to 5% in 2012.  Through reduction of substance abuse, SAFE seeks to also reduce crime, child abuse and neglect, injury and bullying thus improving health and safety in our communities.  SAFE has also launched a SAFE Latino substance abuse coalition that includes representation from 30 various organizations. 


Major goals for this year include 1) reducing alcohol-related crashes among 18-24 year olds through a targeted media campaign, increased DUI enforcement and increased compliance among establishments with alcohol licenses for checking IDs and not selling/serving to underage persons 2) educating the Latino community in substance abuse prevention efforts 3) continued expansion of the Teen Ambassador program to additional elementary schools and incorporating a Latino component 4) continuing medication abuse prevention efforts through a media campaign targeting parents and trainings for healthcare professionals and 5) educate Virginians about the adverse effects of marijuana on youth, families and the community, and 6) diversifying the funding base for the organization.


  1. To develop a comprehensive sustainability plan that includes sufficient funding to sustain current staffing and increase SAFE's capacity to serve its constituency. Specifically, to increase financial support from businesses and individuals to provide a funding base less dependent upon grant funding.
  2. To ensure the board has adequate representation from public and private sectors that reflects the demographics of the communities we serve. Specifically, greater representation from the business, faith and minority communities and additional board members with legal and financial expertise.
  3. To build greater board involvement through active contributions to a dynamic ongoing evaluation of our efforts and greater participation in coalition activities targeting substance abuse issues. Specifically, increase in  numbers of community volunteers taking an active role on SAFE's task forces addressing underage drinking, alcohol-related crashes, medication abuse, inhalants, tobacco and marijuana.
  4. To achieve greater collaboration at the individual, organizational, and corporate level to reach the stated goals of SAFE.
  5. To advocate for effective changes in public policy to reduce substance abuse for all citizens.
Substance Abuse Free Environment (SAFE) was incorporated with the Commonwealth of Virginia in 1999. The organization grew out of the Drug and Alcohol Abuse Task Force, a group of citizens appointed by the Chesterfield County Board of Supervisors to address the problem of substance abuse and to review substance abuse prevention efforts in the county. In its review, the task force noted a lack of coordination in prevention efforts and recommended that agencies, organizations and individuals collaborate to share existing efforts and to develop initiatives to address identified problems. SAFE was the result. The organization is comprised of representatives from local government such as law enforcement, health and mental health, public and private schools, youth-serving organizations, civic, business and faith communities, media, parents and youths.  Twenty-four persons serve on the board of directors. Coalition members serve on task forces and committees that plan and implement responses to targeted issues, such as underage drinking. SAFE accomplishes much with a small staff - one full time and four part-time - and some in-kind staff assistance from the Chesterfield County Department of Youth Planning and Development. SAFE's impressive accomplishments are the result of its collaborative partnerships. In FY 2014, volunteers donated 2,913 hours to the work of the coalition.
CEO Statement
When a community discovers its values, there is nothing it cannot change. As in the fable of stone soup, the collaborative contributions of individuals leads to benefits for the entire group. Residents in the communities served by SAFE have demonstrated this truth in practical, measurable ways. Substance abuse exacts a heavy toll on children, families, government budgets, private company profits, medical resources and virtually every sector of our lives. No family remains untouched by this scourge. Our approach to substance abuse prevention generates change at the population level so that all citizens have a better chance of making healthy, life affirming choices.
Through hard work and determination, the partners in SAFE have found effective strategies to save lives, prevent injury, protect families, reduce crime, strengthen the economy and improve educational outcomes. SAFE has a proven methodology; we rely upon the knowledge and wisdom of citizens to make it work. Everyone is welcome to join in this effort. In fact, we need you to do just that for the good of the community and the future of generations yet unborn.
Board Chair Statement
I became involved with SAFE ten years ago when asked to grant the organization permission to conduct a youth survey in the schools. At that time I was impressed by the coalition’s focus on reducing drug abuse by Chesterfield County’s teens. I have personally witnessed the tragedy suffered by close friends when their children became involved in drug use, and as a baby boomer saw friends’ lives cut short or ruined by drunk driving or marijuana use in the 1960s. Some fifty years later, drug-related problems persist in our community and SAFE has afforded me the opportunity to be actively involved in combating the problem rather than being a passive observer, merely thinking that things will never change.
SAFE has had many successes, is well respected in Virginia, and has received national recognition for some of its efforts. The staff is extremely competent, tireless and caring. We have been able to engage key sectors of the community to address specific problems and we have used proven strategies to tackle certain drug-related problems. Reducing inhalant use among middle schoolers was one effort which required training of school personnel and parents. This led to a partnership with many companies that service residential heating and air conditioning systems and locking caps have been installed to prevent the inhaling of Freon. Teens have been trained by SAFE and Chesterfield Police to work in a compliance check program, significantly reducing the sale of alcohol to minors. Programs such as Café Conversations were started to train parents to have meaningful conversations with their children about the dangers associated with drug and alcohol use, and these programs are expanding in the faith community and schools. To reduce prescription drug abuse, SAFE has partnered with Chesterfield Police in medication cleanout events that have allowed residents to remove outdated or no longer needed medicines from their homes and dispose of them in a way that will not harm the environment. Programs have been started in the City of Colonial Heights, and we look forward to expanding our partnership there. SAFE is also mentoring its sister coalition Henrico Too Smart 2 Start in preparing to apply for a drug free communities grant.  Finally, SAFE has been involved in legislative efforts in the state that have addressed such problems as the sale of energy drinks containing alcohol and the trending issues around medical marijuana.
With all of the successes that SAFE has had, we also have our challenges. Key personnel positions are funded totally or in part by grants that will soon expire. Sustaining SAFE’s efforts by local support is a major concern. We are challenged by a lack of representation of all segments of our community on our Board and Task Forces. We would also like to see increased collaborative efforts at the corporate level as we seek to make Chesterfield and Colonial Heights better places in which to live and raise families. Finally to ensure lasting change, we would like to influence public policy or law to reduce and prevent drug abuse in Virginia. To address some of these issues, we have created the 21st Century Committee that is addressing marketing and fund raising. Finally, we are making presentations at various civic organizations to increase our visibility in the community, expand our efforts to recruit volunteers, and to create new partnerships.
Areas of Service
Areas Served
Chesterfield County
SAFE serves the entire population of Chesterfield County. SAFE is pleased that many of its efforts have been shared with other communities in Richmond, Tri-Cities, and specifically mentoring the Henrico Too Smart 2 Start coalition, for possible replication and also across the Commonwealth of Virginia and the nation. 
Board Chair
Board Chair Mr. Max Morehead
Company Affiliation Village Bank
Term Sept 2016 to Sept 2017
Board of Directors
Board Members
Ms. Melissa Ackley Board SecretaryChesterfield mental Health Support Services
Mr. Scott Anderson TreasurerHCA Virginia’s Chippenham & Johnston Willis Hospitals
Ms. Tia Campbell schools, director of student health services
Mr. Bryan Carr schools, instructional specialist for schools
Mr. Fred Carreras Community Volunteer
Ms. Jana Carter Chesterfield Department of Youth Planning and Development
Mr. Curtis Coleburn Retired COO, Virginia ABC
Dr. Imad Damaj Virginia Muslim Coalition
Col. Thierry Dupuis Chesterfield Police Department
Dr. Bancroft Greene Community Volunteer
Mr. Frank McCracken Vice ChairLocal News LLC
Dr. Glen Miller Past Board ChairPast Board Chair
Mr. Max Morehead ChairVillage Bank
Ms. Laurie Pettit parent representative
Ms. Cris Sheppard Past Board ChairChesterfield Health Department
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 3
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 19
Hispanic/Latino 1
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 1 Lebanese
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 13
Female 11
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 0
Board Meeting Attendance % 70
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 60
Percentage Making In-Kind Contributions 91
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 6
Risk Management Provisions
Workers Compensation and Employers' Liability
Standing Committees
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Program / Program Planning
Other Boards
The tables below contain information about other groups that advise this nonprofit on operations and projects.
Executive Director
Executive Director Ms. Regina Whitsett Executive Director
Ms. Regina Whitsett served as interim executive director following the resignation of the previous executive director of nine years in December 2013 and was unanimously named executive director by the board in May 2014.  She has extensive experience in substance abuse prevention and coalition work. Her previous position was education coordinator at the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. Ms. Whitsett continues to oversee SAFE's Strategic Planning Framework-State Incentive Grant that focuses on the prevention of alcohol-related crashes among 18-24 year olds.
Full Time Staff 1
Part Time Staff 2
Volunteers 312
Contractors 0
Retention Rate 75
Organization has a Fundraising Plan? Under Development
Organization has a Strategic Plan? Yes
Years Strategic Plan Considers 5
Date Strategic Plan Adopted Feb 2011
Management Succession Plan? No
Organization Policy and Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistleblower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy No
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes
SAFE is a coalition, so collaboration is essential to the work it does. It has ongoing collaborations with the public and private sectors. Its partners include health, mental health, substance abuse prevention and treatment, law enforcement, judiciary, human services, parents, youths, the faith, business and civic communities, media and youth-serving organizations. It also collaborates with state and national substance abuse coalitions, such as the Community Coalitions of Virginia, Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America and Substance Abuse and Recovery Alliance (SAARA) of Virginia, Inc.
Got Coutcomes! Coalition of the Year AwardCommunity Anti-Drug Coalitions of America2009
Chairman's Award: Outstanding National Coalition Academy Coalition GraduateCommunity Anti-Drug Coalitions of America2008
National Exemplary Award for Innovative Substance Abuse Prevention Programs, Practices, and PoliciesNational Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors, Inc.2010
Achievement Award for Capping a Community Problem: Partnerships for Preventing Refrigerant HuffingNational Association of Counties2012
Injury Prevention Award for Innovative ProgramsVirginia Department of Health2012
Bright IdeasAsh Center for Democratic Governance and innovation, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University2012
Dose of Prevention AwardCommunity Anti-Drug Coalitions of America2014
3 years of prevention efforts that helped reduce the motor vehicle crash rate among 18-24 year-old, alcohol impaired drivers by 37% (2009-2013).Virginia Strategic Prevention-State Incentive Grant Program2015
Impaired DrivingGovernor's Transportation Safety Award2015

SAFE works to prevent underage drinking and to reduce alcohol abuse through a variety of initiatives. SAFE is presently conducting a major campaign to reduce alcohol-related crashes in Chesterfield County among 18-24 year olds. SAFE also holds compliance checks, in partnership with Chesterfield police, to reduce the accessibility of alcohol to minors. SAFE's Cafe Conversations stimulate discussions between parents and young adolescents to talk about alcohol around a shared dinner. SAFE helps prepare parents for talking to their teens about celebrating prom and graduation alcohol-free and about dealing with alcohol pressures as their child transitions to higher education. SAFE also raises awareness about the community environment and its impact on decisions young people make about alcohol. That awareness leads to citizen advocacy, policy change and social changes that reduce underage drinking. 

Population Served Adults
Budget $200,000.00
Short Term Success
Short term success will be maintaining a 93% compliance rate of off-premise alcohol retailers; Cafe' Conversations will expand to involve the Hispanic and faith communities in addition to school communities; every parent of a juvenile receiving a driver's license will receive information from SAFE regarding drinking and driving issues; every parent of a high school senior will receive information from SAFE about talking to their child about alcohol issues relating to prom/graduation and higher education or the workplace.
Long Term Success
The ultimate change resulting from this initiative will be parental and community norms that strongly disapprove of underage drinking and environments that make alcohol less attractive and more difficult to obtain for those under 21, resulting in a reduction in underage drinking and the negative consequences associated with it (vehicle crashes, injuries, sexual assault, educational failure, addiction, etc.).

Medication abuse is an escalating problem locally as well as nationally. SAFE serves as a catalyst for addressing this issue, bringing together stakeholders from multiple professional and community sectors to share their perspectives, develop concrete strategies to address the problem and determine collaborative approaches for implementing those strategies. These efforts have resulted in educational trainings for healthcare providers on medication abuse, the involvement of medical practices and pharmacies in sharing information with their patients/customers about the importance of locking medications, not sharing them and disposing of them safely, a media campaign to increase parent/child conversations about the dangers of medication abuse and (in collaboration with Chesterfield police), the collection of over 3½ tons of unused medications at take-back events since 2010.

Population Served Families
Budget $75,000.00
Short Term Success
Establishing regular prescription drug take-back events will lead to increasing numbers of residents who clear their homes of unneeded and expired medications, reducing the availability of abusable drugs. Increased awareness of the problem of prescription drug abuse will lead to parents, grandparents and the general public locking up or securing their medications, monitoring quantities and disposing of unneeded meds. Parents will be holding discussions with their children about the importance of using medications only as prescribed, about never using other persons' medications and about the dangers of abusing prescription and other over-the-counter medications.
Long Term Success
The vision for this initiative is that youth and adults in Chesterfield County  will only use prescription drugs for their intended purposes. Prescription drug abuse among Chesterfield youths, as measured by the biennial youth survey, will decrease to below national averages.

SAFE promotes teen involvement and leadership in substance abuse prevention through its Teen Ambassadors program. Teen Ambassadors are high school students who serve as positive role models to younger students, providing tutoring assistance and engaging them in activities that promote healthy choices and prevent substance abuse.

Population Served Families
Budget $20,000.00
Short Term Success
This initiative has demonstrated clear short-term success, with a 63% reduction in inhalant abuse by 8th-graders between 2005 and 2010 and reduction at other grade levels as well. 
Long Term Success
Children will be taught early in life to view inhalable products as poisons, fire hazards and toxic substances that must be treated with caution and always used according to directions. The strong association of these products to poisons that can damage the brain and body if breathed in concentrated form will help "inoculate" children from misusing these products as they become young adolescents, as they will associate them with "danger." Most young people who abuse these products are unaware of their potential for sudden death and significant brain damage. Inhalant rates, as measured by biennial youth surveys of Chesterfield youths, will remain below national averages.

SAFE developed a comprehensive inhalant abuse prevention initiative targeting elementary and middle school students, parents, and school staff and raised awareness in the community about the problem. The initiative resulted in a 28% reduction in inhalant abuse by 8th graders between 2005 and 2010. SAFE continues to maintain and expand program elements to reduce inhalant usage, including a partnership with the HVAC community to install locking caps on air conditioning units to prevent huffing of refrigerant from the service valves.

Population Served K-12 (5-19 years)
Budget $5,000.00
Short Term Success
SAFE measures short-term success by how close it is to reaching its goal of delivering the program to approximately 2000 middle schoolers each year.
Long Term Success
Middle school students who view the dramatization have increased knowledge of the consequences that result from being found in possession of marijuana (or other drugs) at school, including both school system (such as expulsion) and legal consequences. This increased awareness leads to better decision making about the use of marijuana and decreases in school violations for marijuana.

Use, You Lose is a campaign focused on students from grades K-12 and their parents about the consequences for using alcohol and other drugs. It particularly highlights the consequences at school, including suspension (and sometimes expulsion), loss of privileges to participate in after-school activities, including sports, for 45 days, loss of right to park on school property for juniors and seniors. In addition, it highlights legal consequences and social and health consequences from the use of alcohol and other drugs. In fifth grade, students receive a SAFE Use, You Lose sports bag. Their parents are provided a brochure containing a contract relating to family rules about tobacco, alcohol and other drug use they can talk about and sign with their child.

Population Served Families
Budget $25,000.00
Short Term Success
Short term success is determined by the visibility of the Use, You Lose message and the degree to which parents, children and youth understand what it means. For example, parents receive a brochure called Use, You Lose at Home when their fifth-grade student receives their Use, You Lose backpack. The brochure includes a contract to be signed by the parent and child relating to family rules about alcohol/drug use, along with a Use, You Lose magnet to post the contract on the refrigerator. This is designed to encourage parents to hold a converation with their child about alcohol/drugs and their expectations.
Long Term Success
Use, You Lose, in combination with other substance abuse prevention initiatives, will decrease the use of alcohol and other drugs by Chesterfield County youths.
Fiscal Year
Projected Revenue $292,750.00
Projected Expenses $268,025.00
Spending Policy N/A
Form 990s
IRS Letter of Exemption
Detailed Financials
Revenue SourcesHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available) and revenue sources may not sum to total based on reconciliation differences. Revenue from foundations and corporations may include individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201620152014
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$115,488$357,198$677,654
Individual Contributions$4,700$31,311$10,004
Investment Income, Net of Losses$93$59$51
Membership Dues------
Special Events----$4,990
Revenue In-Kind$71,034$142,227$156,637
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201620152014
Program Expense$183,780$456,742$514,616
Administration Expense$75,485$23,526$51,563
Fundraising Expense$18,485$655$456
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses0.861.101.50
Program Expense/Total Expenses66%95%91%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue12%0%0%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201620152014
Total Assets$48,782$71,889$367,368
Current Assets$45,320$66,666$361,259
Long-Term Liabilities$1,000$0--
Current Liabilities$14,612$220$8,188
Total Net Assets$33,170$71,669$359,180
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities3.10303.0344.12
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets2%0%0%
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
State Charitable Solicitaions Permit
Solicitations Permit
Solicitations Permit ExemptionView