This spring, The First Congregational Church of Darien’s Board of Outreach raised $15,000 to benefit local nonprofits through their 2016 Darien House Tour: Homes with a Heart. In addition to the house tour, this fundraising initiative included a parenting event, art show and “party with a purpose.” The Community Fund of Darien’s Thriving Youth Initiative was selected by the Board of Outreach as the lead beneficiary.
The Thriving Youth Initiative seeks to promote healthy development among Darien’s youth in response to recent alarming trends evident in The Community Fund of Darien’s survey of teens over the past seven years. Results show that substance abuse is on the rise among teens and that both resilience and resistance skills are declining.
The Thriving Youth Initiative will dedicate $100,000 each year, over the next five years, to implement a strategic prevention plan to reduce substance abuse and improve mental health among Darien’s 12 to 17-year-olds and their parents. The additional funding provided by the Darien House Tour will expand the initiative’s prevention efforts into the preschool and elementary school populations. The First Congregational Church of Darien is proud to support this effort to build in our children the skills needed, including resilience, self-esteem and coping, for a lifetime of healthy decisions.