Henrico Too Smart 2 Start Coalition receives nonprofit status

The Henrico Too Smart 2 Start Coalition has qualified as a nonprofit charitable organization under the federal tax code, which will help it play a greater role in reducing substance abuse and other risky behaviors among youth.

The Henrico Too Smart 2 Start Coalition received its 501(c)(3) designation in July, making the organization eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions.

The coalition is now working toward recognition under the Drug-Free Communities Program of the U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy. Substance Abuse Free Environment Inc. (SAFE) of Chesterfield County has received a mentoring grant to help the Henrico Too Smart 2 Start Coalition become eligible to seek funding through the Drug-Free Communities Program. The mentoring process aims to strengthen a coalition’s organizational structure, increase its leadership and readiness to address youth substance abuse problems and use a strategic planning process to create a comprehensive action plan.

“I am excited about the growth and development of the Henrico Too Smart 2 Start Coalition,” said Justin House, chair of the coalition’s board of directors. “We look forward to working with our partners and residents to make Henrico County the healthiest community for families and youth.”

With origins dating to 1995, the Henrico Too Smart 2 Start Coalition promotes health and wellness among Henrico residents and uses education and advocacy to reduce substance abuse and other risky behaviors among youth. The coalition consists of an evolving group of community partners, which include local nonprofit organizations, Henrico County Public Schools and Henrico Area Mental Health and Developmental Services.

Gov. Bob McDonnell in June recognized Henrico County Public Schools as a Promising Program under the state’s Substance Abuse Awareness is Vital for Virginia Youth initiative. Henrico Too Smart 2 Start collaborates with Henrico County Public Schools on its substance abuse prevention efforts.

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