The Coastal Bend Wellness Foundation (CBWF) is actively seeking involvoment from young people, whether you use their services or volunteer to help. The CBWF is a community based non-profit organization that wants to take a lead in providing health and wellness for those in need through treatment, awareness, education, advocacy and service.
The CBWF was founded in 1986 as the Coastal Bend AIDS Foundation but has grown over the years. CBWF changed its name in 2012 to better convey the wide array of services they provide.
Some of these services include basic health care, behavioral health care, sexual health and testing, women’s health programs, HIV/AIDS care, LGBT+ care and youth programs.
One youth program that is very proactive is Project HOPE which stands for Health, Outreach, Prevention and Education.
“Project HOPE is a coalition that started in 2013,” said Jamie Leal, Coalition Specialist at the CBWF. “We are a coalition that goes out into the community and we talk to a demographic of 18 to 25-year-old males, females, whoever fits in that range. We get to talk to them and we just discuss certain topics like underage drinking, prescription drug abuse and marijuana abuse.”
Even though Project HOPE is considered a youth program and they do target youth and young adult demographics, the project reaches out to all age groups to spread awareness and knowledge of alcohol, marijuana and prescription drugs. They focus on their harmful health effects on not only individuals but families and communities as well.
Project HOPE strives to stay involved with the community so they can become more of a known presence as they pinpoint aspects in the community with their services.
“We’re just always trying to be in the community and trying to get that information out there and trying to let people know that Project HOPE is here,” Leal said, “we’re trying to help give any kind of resources, any kind of tips, any kind of advice that could alternately or hopefully prevent them from entering into something that they might not want to be doing with substances or abusing substances.”
Since the CBWF is a non-profit, volunteer opportunities are always available and getting involved is not a hard feat.
“We have a bunch of community partners,” said Boedeker. “We have law enforcement, we have schools, we have just a bunch on independent individuals: business people, youth — so people under 18 — parents. It’s open to anybody in the community that wants to come and make a difference. We hold the meeting on the last Wednesday of every month and it’s from noon to 1 o’clock. It’s open to anybody. We have free lunch provided.”
The coalition’s next meetings are Sept. 26 where they will have a presentation about Narcan services and how to be trained and certified. Then there is a meeting on Oct. 31. For more information about the Coastal Bend Wellness Foundation as a whole or other programs they offer, visit, http://www.cbwellness.org.