Willcox Against Substance Abuse
Tax id (EIN)
AddressPO BOX 741
WILLCOX, AZ 85644
WASA was formed in May, 1988 as part of the Governor's Alliance Against Drugs. Our grassroots community coalition is dedicated to assisting Northern Cochise County in becoming safe, well and abuse free. "WASA" is an acronym for Willcox Against Substance Abuse but the members of this coalition recognized early on that substance abuse does not stand alone. For the past 25 years WASA has worked to positively impact all at-risk behavior in our community.
Not too long ago, WASA received an e-mail from a young lady who had participated in our programs several years back. She stated, "You may not remember me, but your organization had such an impact on me and my brother one summer years ago that I wanted to make contact. Our family was in total chaos then with both substance abuse and physical abuse happening in our home, finally my mother had to take us kids and run away in the middle of the night. I guess you never knew what happened, but I just wanted to tell you that during that summer you were the only place we could go where we felt safe and were able to just be kids. I am doing well now and would like to start something similar to WASA where I live to help other kids like us. Thank you for being there when we needed you".
The Mission of WASA is to increase awareness and promote prevention of substance abuse in the community with specific emphasis on youth, and to support the values and importance of an addiction-free lifestyle. The organization attempts to fulfill its mission by:
A) Coordinating prevention activities in the community.
B) Developing and promoting community awareness and education regarding prevention of all dangerous behaviors.
C) Supporting and assisting local school and police programs.
D) Assisting with the development of social policy.
E) Supporting and assisting efforts to create and maintain regular activities for those choosing alternatives to substance abuse.
F) Provding education and support for youth and families regarding all at risk behaviors.
G) Assisting area businesses and organizations in creating and maintaining effective, on-going prevention programs.
H) Developing, producing and maintaining positive programs and activities incuding, but not limited to: Allies Youth Leadership Programs, Youth Court, Message Theater, After School programs, B-lingual Counseling programs, Safe Prom and Graduation activities and a major Summer Activities Program that provides up to 28 separate programs for children ages 6 to 18 during the months of June and July.
In 1996 WASA gained 501(c)3 status, allowing the organization to expand through grants and donations. Because our area is rural and somewhat isolated, youth and families are very limited in many of the options that more urban areas take for granted. Willcox is the population and service hub for the area, but it does not have the population to sustain a major youth organization such as the YMCA or Boys & Girls Club. Local, home-grown collaborations are the only way to provide for our children and families who have the same problems faced in urban areas.
From the beginning, the key to WASA's success has been strong partnerships with the entities in our area who are concerned about our children and families. WASA works with the School District to find funding and develop strong prevention programs, with the City to provide healthy alternative activities and with Behavioral Health to provide support for those who are struggling.
The unofficial motto for WASA was given to us by a former local newspaper editor who placed the statement "WASA Works" somewhere in every edition of the newspaper. WASA does work - we work hard to educate, assist, support and help the youth and families in our area. We measure our success by indicators that show decreased use of harmful substances, fewer substance related accidents and better awareness among youth and families regarding destructive behaviors. However, it is when we hear from a young lady that our actions were an important positive force in the lives of two children in a time of great need so much so that she would like to form a similar organization, that we know that WASA truly does "work".