Advocate Editorial Board opinion: Drug prevention is too important to let go

By the Advocate Editorial Board
Aug. 13, 2013 at 3:13 a.m.

The Victoria community is full of caring people. Our hometown is home to programs that do work that ranges from tutoring students to caring for people who have been abused and neglected and more. We are proud to see so many groups and concerned residents in Victoria.

However, one of Victoria's nonprofit organizations has run into a major setback in funding. Mid-Coast Family Services' youth prevention program was told July 31 that it would not receive any of the $1.5 million in federal funding it requested in its annual grant application. The group appealed the decision and was told Aug. 9 that it would receive $600,000.

While the amount of money the nonprofit will receive is less than half what it requested, we are glad to know the youth prevention program will still be able to function. This program offers important services to area youths, including providing 50 Crossroads schools with drug, alcohol and tobacco use prevention programs. The organization also takes part in the national annual Red Ribbon Week campaign to promote drug awareness.

We thank the Texas Department of State Health Services' Behavioral Health Prevention Services for deciding to return some of the funding to Mid-Coast's youth program. We especially thank State Rep. Geanie Morrison for personally investigating the decision not to fund this important service and encouraging and assisting in the the appeals process and State Sen. Glenn Hegar for his support. We are glad to know our elected representatives are willing to take personal action to defend and promote programs in their district.

We applaud the members of the Victoria community who came to offer their help when the funding appeal was still pending. Thank you for investing in the survival of the program that brings an anti-drug use message to students across the Crossroads. Even after receiving part of its requested funding, we encourage these community members to follow through on their offers of assistance and invest in the future generations of our area and state in whatever way they can.

But most of all, we applaud Mid-Coast for its determination to keep working to bring a positive, encouraging message to area youths. You may have lost funding, but your determination to continue serving and reaching out to area schools is inspiring. Thank you for all you do. We hope to see a return to full funding in the years to come.

This editorial reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate's editorial board.



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