Mission Statement :
To present and develop drug prevention initiatives through reality based innovative programs.
CANDLE, Inc. is committed to presenting reality based drug prevention programs and initiatives that engage and educate parent and child, as well as the community at large, in a manner that reveals the true risks of drug abuse and experimentation and identifies emerging drug preferences as they evolve. The Reality Tour Drug Prevention Program, narrative and dramatic portrayal of the life of a teen addict, is the primary vehicle used to accomplish our mission and is predicated on a capable network of community volunteers. Our goal is to change the climate of acceptance of drug use among our youth by advancing the Reality Tour program model nationwide. .
CANDLE's Grassroots Prevention experience for parent/child centers on a 'Walk In the Life & Death of a Teen on Drugs' and the evidence-based program is called Reality Tour.
Since the program started in 2003, CANDLE has marketed the Reality Tour program model across PA and beyond. As of 2011, there are 18 Reality Tours in PA and Tours have started in 8 other states.
CANDLE's office is located in Butler, PA at 100 Brugh Ave. The organization conducts fundraisers and secures business sponsorships in addition to marketing the Reality Tour Program Model.
Since 2003, volunteers in the small community of Butler, PA have acted in monthly "Reality Tours' to show parents and children the ultimate consequences of addiction. Over 3000 Butler residents have followed the footsteps of the 'teen heroin addict'. Scenes unfold as he narrates his arrest, imprisonment, overdose and funeral. Parents and their children have a simultaneous emotional response as they watch ordinary citizens become 'actors' to recreate the arrest, ER and funeral scenes.
It takes 24 community volunteers, that show up like clock work to present the monthly program. Youth volunteers take on key roles and adults from all over the county take part as well.
The Butler program often had a 2-month waiting list to attend, so sites were added at Slippery rock University and Mars Home for Youth to cover the county. Area schools are 'dedicating' a grade level to the experience and urging parents to take their children to the evening program. The Reality Tour has been the subject of several Pittsburgh TV newscasts and one PBS-TV program.
Parents rate the program as 'Priceless!". Youth want their friends to see it. Parents of addicts volunteer and state that the opportunity gives them a sense of empowerment. The addicts who are part of the Q & A session say knowing they have this monthly task helps them stay clean.
Contact: Executive Director Norma Norris Ph 724-679-1788 E-mail: NormaNorris@candleinc.org