The mission of VARSA is to reduce and prevent underage drug and alcohol use by engaging, educating and empowering the communities we serve.
Our Core Purpose
Our purpose is to build a resilient, inclusive, and diverse community united in developing and sustaining a healthy environment where youth can grow up drug and alcohol free.
Zero underage drug and alcohol use on Vashon Island.
Our Core Values
Engage, educate, empower
Each day we work toward a community that engages with our Island’s youth around the issues of underage drug and alcohol use on Vashon. We seek to educate all sectors of our Island on the dangers and impact of underage drug and alcohol use, and empower our youth to make healthy choices.
Diversity & Sensitivity
We treat our members and staff with the utmost respect and dignity. We treasure cultural and ethnic diversity, understanding the sensitivity of the issues we face together. We continually seek to understand and honor each person.
We place value both on the sense of community we maintain inside VARSA and on the way we weave ourselves into the fabric of the larger community. Our culture at VARSA is built on an ideal of equality and a spirit of teamwork, where all members are valued for their contributions.
We approach our work with professionalism, integrity and commitment. We seek to continuously improve and, in all we do, service to our community comes first.
For more than seven years, VARSA has provided grant funding to impact underage drug and alcohol use on Vashon.
VARSA was formed in 2009 by a group of committed Islanders who came together to address the issue of underage drug and alcohol use on our Island.
With a federal grant from the Dug Free Communities (DFC) initiative and a state grant from the Community Prevention and Wellness Initiative (CPWI) VARSA has been able to finance a number of different strategies including challenging social norms, environmental change, parent education, youth centered events, as well as supporting other organizations on the Island.
The volunteer organization is formed on a Coalition model which gives many sectors of the community an equal voice at the meetings. Administrative oversight is provided by a full time Coalition Coordinator and executive committee. As VARSA is not a 501(c)(3), the grant monies are managed and distributed by a fiscal agent, currently the Vashon Island School District (VISD.)
Funding for VARSA comes from Washington State Department of Social & Health Services, Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery, and the King County Mental Health, Chemical Abuse and Dependency Services Division. The Community Prevention and Wellness Initiative grant brings support and funding to specifically address our youth substance use issues.
The Full Coalition Meetings (FCM) are held on the second Tuesday of the month
in the Vashon Island School District Conference Room, upstairs at Chautauqua. 7:00pm - 9:00pm.